There have been a few thinkpieces since the election questioning whether or not President Joe Biden is actively trying to destroy the American economy. These aren’t idle questions. If you put his climate agenda together with his determination to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Biden appears to be on a mission to make sure we don’t recover from the COVID lockdowns.
Take the minimum wage push. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that if Democrats successfully raise it to $15, it will ultimately kill 1.4 million jobs. According to the report, the job losses will take place over a period of four years, mostly because the proposals currently under consideration would gradually move the wage to $15 by 2025 in incremental increases.
“17 million workers whose wages would otherwise be below $15 per hour would be directly affected, and many of the 10 million workers whose wages would otherwise be slightly above that wage rate would also be affected,” the CBO concluded.
While it’s true that a wage hike of this type would raise federal revenues, the CBO finds that this increase would be offset by the increases in spending required by the correlating spike in the cost of goods and services. Indeed, over a ten year period, the CBO finds that a minimum wage hike of this sort would increase the government’s deficits by $54 billion. It’s the very definition of a lose-lose proposition.
Well, maybe that’s not fair. There is some silver lining to the CBO’s report if you’re a Democrat intent on going down this progressive path. The office did find that raising the wage would lift some 900,000 Americans out from under the poverty line. That’s why House Democrats are resolving to see the report as good news and it’s why they’re moving forward with a plan to include it in their COVID stimulus package.
“The CBO’s report strengthens the case for gradually raising the minimum wage through the COVID-19 rescue package,” said House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott. “This nonpartisan report shows that increasing the minimum wage will act as a direct and targeted stimulus for struggling workers and their families.”
Republicans, however, have no intention of supporting the move.
“Non-partisan CBO says $15 minimum wage would cost 1.4 million jobs, far more than would benefit + raise costs in stores/for health care & increase the deficit by $54 billion,” tweeted Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. “Including this harmful policy in COVID-relief bill would devastate same biz/ppl already hurt by pandemic.”
But just think of how happy it will make 16-year-olds working at McDonalds!