What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 1, 2014

Senator Pat Toomey Misleads On The Minimum Wage

In case you missed it:
The Senate voted on Wednesday against going ahead on a bill that would gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, another rejection for legislation that has been a major focus of the Democrats' 2014 midterm campaign.

The final vote count was 54 to 42, with Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who supports the legislation, taking the procedural step of voting against the bill so that he can reintroduce it at a later time.
Of course, our Republican Senator voted against:
"The last thing the American people need is a bill coming out of Washington that would wipe out hundreds of thousands of their jobs. Yet this is precisely what the Senate voted on today. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the Senate Democrats' minimum wage bill will eliminate 500,000 jobs nationwide. And according to other studies, as many as 118,000 Pennsylvanians could lose a paycheck under this measure.

"Even worse, this bill will hit people who have fewer skills and younger workers the hardest -- the very people who most need an opportunity to get into the workforce, get their first job, and start their way up the economic ladder.

"I do not support government policy that puts hundreds of thousands of people out of work.
Ah, but Senator. You left out some very important CBO information, didn't you?

From the CBO webpage called The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income, we read:
Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly. [Emphases added.]
You left that out, didn't you?  You had to know it's there because you cited the CBO report but you decided not to tell us about how raising the minimum wage would boost the pay of most low wage workers.


So how many people are we talking here?  How many would see their incomes boosted?

Luckily the CBO report you only partially cited has an answer (it's on the same page, btw):
Many more low-wage workers would see an increase in their earnings. Of those workers who will earn up to $10.10 under current law, most—about 16.5 million, according to CBO’s estimates—would have higher earnings during an average week in the second half of 2016 if the $10.10 option was implemented. [Emphasis added.]
16.5 million??

Yea, ya left that part out, dincha?

I'd say that by withholding this rather important information, Senator, you're misleading your constituency.

Oh, and one last thing.  You say in your statement that:
We need to stop this bad legislation in its tracks and move ahead on proposals that would actually spur hiring and economic growth...
And yet that very same CBO report says:
Once the increases and decreases in income for all workers are taken into account, overall real income would rise by $2 billion.
Isn't that economic growth?


Heir to the Throne said...

Last time a CBO prediction turned out to be right?

Ol' Froth said...

Good piece here on why your question is meaningless. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/research_desk_how_accurate_wer.html