The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

CBO Report Provides Fodder For GOP Mininum Wage Talking-Points
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is all the talk these days. Republicans are using each policy driven report as opportunity to obstruct "anything Obama.'' The Administration is forced to carefully scrutinize each report for positive news (findings) as President Obama's policy deliverables move towards deliberation or enactment. In one well discussed case (within the past two weeks) the GOP grabbed a portion of the CBO report on the long-term impact of the ACA, and literally tripped itself-up like a mouse snared in a mouse-trap as it attempted to steal the cheese. The early February CBO report does not mean the ACA will result in 2 million jobs losses! 

Over time the Republican Party has maligned and disparaged the CBO as an agency ridiculed as partisan. The GOP also has identified the CBO as a target for elimination.  

Chris Hayes on the GOP and past hatchet-jobs on the CBO.

As opportunism goes, the GOP now grabs any detailed CBO (administration) policy assessment for dogged scrutiny with subsequent development of taking-points. It is as if the CBO report offer morsels of cheese that will hopefully provide fodder for taking-points without engaging the ever-present mousetrap bar and associated (killing) hammer. 

This week's release of CBO report on the impact of increasing the minimum wage, has provided yet another opportunity for extracting talking-points for political leverage. 

Chris Hayes also  explored the CBO report in the context of "good for the nation, troublesome for the nation and GOP reaction coupled with expert opinion from a noted economist."

Politico reported Senator John Cornyn's (R) TX.  and Nancy Pelosi's (D) CA. reactions to the report.
“The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed yet again what we know to be true of government overreach in the marketplace: raising the minimum wage would slash jobs and harm an already fragile workforce,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the chamber’s second-ranking Republican.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said: “No matter how the critics spin this report, the CBO made it absolutely clear: raising the minimum wage would lift almost one million Americans out of poverty, increase the pay of low-income workers by $31 billion and help build an economy that works for everyone.”
Read more 

As stated by Chris Hayes any prospect of fewer jobs is less than ideal; actually undesirable. CBO estimates are just that estimates and we should hope the potential for employers not filling jobs at the lower end, does not come to fruition. Conversely, we hope CBO estimates regarding lifting families out of poverty and increased earnings potential for millions provide inertia in returning the nation to higher levels of productivity (increased production based on increased sale of goods an services). Another area of hope is the prospect of a modicum of fairness as we consider the phenomenal level of income disparity since the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

The "raise the Minimum Wage or not raise it" kerfuffle lends itself to a question. Does raising the Minimum Wage have a history of associated or resultant job loses?  A question we can only hope to answer via looking back at the past.   

The GOP longs for the past. The party is actually working to repressively move the nation back to times more to their liking and paradigm (socially regarding minorities and women), so a look to the past should warrant a quick review. 

Our quick review yielded many sources with the position raising the minumum wage does not have a deleterious impact on jobs or job creation, we find a Think Progress article from June 2012, most concise yet relevant to the question of job losses synonymous with raising the minimum wage.

Think Progress, Travis Waldron, June 20, 2012.
Opponents of minimum wage increases contest that raising the minimum wage will be costly for businesses and have a negative effect on job growth and employment. An analysis by the Center for American Progress’ Nick Bunker, David Madland, and the University of North Carolina’s T. William Lester, however, found five recent studies showing that increasing the minimum wage — even during periods of high unemployment — does not have a negative effect on job growth: 
A significant body of academic research has found that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses even during hard economic times. There are at least five different academic studies focusing on increases to the minimum wage—including increases ranging from 7 percent to 12.3 percent made during periods of high unemployment—that find an increase in the minimum wage has no significant effect on employment levels. The results are likely because the boost in demand and reduction in turnover provided by a minimum wage counteracts the higher wage costs. 
Similarly, a simple analysis of increases to the minimum wage on the state level, even during periods of state unemployment rates above 8 percent, shows that the minimum wage does not kill jobs. Indeed the states in our simple analysis had job growth slightly above the national average. [...] 
All the studies came to the same conclusion—that raising the minimum wage had no effect on employment. 
While increasing the minimum wage likely has no effect on job creation, it does have a tangible benefit for workers. Eight states increased their minimum wage at the beginning of 2012, providing extra benefits to 1.4 million workers. More than half of the workers directly affected by a minimum wage increase, as well as more than half who would be indirectly affected, are women, meaning increasing the wage provides help to a segment of the population that already faces significant disadvantages in the workplace.
While, I am admittedly biased in my view of raising the Minimum Wage, data indicates GOP rhetoric about job losses and slow job creation is not a reality based in empirical study.

In 2013, the National Employment Law Project Action Fund commissioned a poll with results showing 80% of the polled respondent group favored raising the Minimum Wage. Linked

Just as is the case with 91% of Americans favor background investigation for gun purchases, the majority of Americans favor raising the Minimum Wage. Sixty per cent of Americans do no wish to have the ACA taken off the federal registers and eliminated. 

What is the problem, GOP?

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