One CBO report: Two fast, political reactions
February 18th, 2014
05:33 PM ET
2 months ago

One CBO report: Two fast, political reactions

Washington (CNN) – Republicans and Democrats reacted with lightning speed and polarizing conclusions to a new report on the minimum wage released Tuesday.

To the GOP, it is evidence that Democrats' policies would cut jobs; to Democrats, it shows that Republicans' ideas would keep more people in poverty.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office posted its report on the potential effects of a minimum wage increase at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

By 2:15, Brendan Buck, press secretary for House Speaker John Boehner, was charging forward, e-mailing about CBO's conclusion on jobs. The agency found that increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 currently to $10.10 by 2016 would cost 500,000 workers their jobs.

"This report confirms what we've long known: while helping some, mandating higher wages has real costs, including fewer people working," Buck wrote.

Other conservative responses started flying, casting Democrats and their push for a minimum wage increase as anti-jobs.

"Democrats continue their insatiable quest to pass heavy-handed government policies that are costing jobs," wrote Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who heads the Senate Republican Conference.

The White House, which has renewed its push for a minimum wage increase, openly rejected the CBO's jobs findings.

"Those estimates do not reflect the consensus view of economists," said Jason Furman, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers told reporters on a phone call.

The White House said the CBO report underestimates positive labor effects from a minimum wage increase, things like higher worker retention and lower absenteeism.

Other Democrats pointed to a different part of the report - the CBO conclusion that a $10.10 minimum wage would pull 900,000 Americans out of poverty.

"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," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote in a statement.

For Democrats, the report hit on their income inequality fault line, showing that 16.5 million low-wage workers would see their incomes jump.

"Hard-working Americans deserve a raise, and this new report shows that over 16 million Americans will receive a raise from an increase in the minimum wage," wrote Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nevada, in his own statement.

The CBO report found that while lower- and middle-income Americans would gain income overall, that Americans at the upper end of the scale would likely lose income because of a minimum wage increase.

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Whatever. The Gop/Teatrolls had no problem negotiating in bad faith in order to trigger the Sequester, which was predicted by CBO to cost far more jobs than this proposal, without ANY offsetting positives such as pulling 1M people out of poverty or having 16.5M people able to contribute to more economic demand. Or hey, how about the GOP/Teatrolls costing the economy $24B while furloughing 800,000 workers without pay and no way of knowing whether they'd get backpay or not. NO problems with any of it when the report is "this will cost jobs." Add in something like "1M people will be pulled out of poverty and 16.5M people will see a pay raise that means they can spend more to meet their basic needs and thereby increase economic demand" and suddenly the GOP/Teatrolls have major issues with whatever the proposal is.

    February 18, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Donna

    What keeps people in poverty is their lack of education and skills worthy of higher pay. What keep people in poverty are abysmal life decisions and choices. If they have skills and are still poor then there are other personal problems involved, psychiatric, drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.

    Please don't attack me and my success because others have failed to achieve and get ahead. The Democrat Party policies of hate, envy and division are destroying this country and its economy.

    February 18, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Much better than the Poverty now with minimum wage of 7.25 cents, can you live off of this? Drive all these republican animals away. Are you not shipping jobs now? Call any airlines, Visa card inquiries–calls go to India, Philippines. Idiots talk.

    February 18, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The point being, that trying to convert what were intended to be modest jobs primarily for teens and college students, for part time work, into full time work for adults, is going to take a toll on the number of jobs available for teens, although it might help some adults.

    Of course, neither party considers the issue of profitability for the businesses in question, which absolutely will decrease, and that may actually herald the closing of many fast food locations..........which hurts the poor more, because they are the primary users of fast food restaurants.

    February 18, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. The Democrat Solution - Pray You Will Not Be Collateral Damage of Their FAILED Policies

    Moron lefties in here... The minimum wage was NEVER meant to be a "living wage"! It was a starting wage for people just entering the work force, aka teenagers, inexperienced people with virtually no skills. But the problem is now that lefties have wrecked the school system and we have millions of idiots graduating that cannot read or do simple math.

    They do not go to college so we have a large number of people who have no skills worth paying for. And the Democrats answer is to reward them for their failure and lack of education by just keep raising the minimum wage.

    What will happen is that businesses will just eventually do away with these jobs all together because they will be priced out of existence.. They will disappear or they will become automated, just as you now see large numbers of self checkout areas in stores where you once saw people running cash registers.

    Democrats have no clue. The answer to a "living wage" is to stop people from dropping out and to get them to take education seriously.

    February 18, 2014 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Please don't attack me and my success because others have failed to achieve and get ahead. "

    Go tell it to Plutocrat Perkins. You can all sit around the campfire and lament the persecution of the wealthy while telling scary stories about socialists and black presidents. Your post exemplifies everything I've ever said about GOPers/Teatrolls/conservatives assuming that wealth and success are always indicative of virtue and hard work and worthiness, while poverty and need are automatically indicative of laziness, a lack of virtue and being underserving.

    February 18, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    "Please don't attack me and my success because others have failed to achieve and get ahead. "

    Go tell it to Plutocrat Perkins. You can all sit around the campfire and lament the persecution of the wealthy while telling scary stories about socialists and black presidents. Your post exemplifies everything I've ever said about GOPers/Teatrolls/conservatives assuming that wealth and success are always indicative of virtue and hard work and worthiness, while poverty and need are automatically indicative of laziness, a lack of virtue and being underserving.
    ---------
    Donna's Disney World. If you just work hard, be truthful, smile and find Jesus, you will be successful and the home team will win.

    February 18, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    "What keeps people in poverty is their lack of education and skills worthy of higher pay."

    So, what 4 year degree do you think the guy who takes you garbage off the curb needs to get before you will pay him a decent wage? Or the server at the restaurant who takes your abuse becuase the Manager forgot to order advocodas and so you fee lthe need to berate and belittle them in front of everyone... because they are not worthy.
    I love it when tyou republicant elitists who think you are better than everyone because your grandpa left you his fortune which you are slowly squandering on booze, pills, and terrible investments... but still you are somehow BETTER than the working folks.
    Keep it up. Everyday you drive another 10 people to our party, and we have a BIG tent of what you see as worthless and uneducated.
    We'll elect us another Roosevelt soon and you can really play the victim then...

    February 18, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. it must be said

    Sniffit
    while poverty and need are automatically indicative of laziness, a lack of virtue and being underserving.
    -–

    They are the seeds of poverty that the far left encourages and cultivates with their policies. The failed liberal War on Poverty has proven it.

    Are you saying that dropping out of school doesn't guarantee poverty most of the time?
    Are you saying being a single mother with one or more kids doesn't guarantee poverty most of the time?
    Are you saying that being a coke, drug, or alcohol addict doesn't guarantee poverty most of the time?
    Are you saying that sitting on the couch waiting for somebody to do for you doesn't guarantee poverty most of the time?

    Please do not deny the reality that the one person with the most control of poverty is the one looking back in the mirror. Deny this only makes you look like a fool. I know you love to attribute this to some vast right wing corporate enslavement conspiracy because that is your nutty communist schtick. To you, it is all about the hive. To us in the real world, the ones making it and getting ahead, know the truth and reject your lies and mythical conspiracies.

    February 18, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Smitty

    Can Obammy ever pick a winner ??? Solyndra, gitmo, stimulas will make unemp 5%, you can keep your plan, the BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR needs to do the right thing and quit, take Lurch and plugs with ya !!!!

    February 18, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. jed clampett

    What happens when the economy is depressed is that our job creators slash wages or stagnate wages. More profit! More poverty! Less spending in the economy!

    February 18, 2014 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Mike Texoma

    As an American I firmly believe that if a man works 8 hours a day he ought to be paid a living wage. Some of my friends want to pay starvation wages, then complain that "nobody wants to work". Well, duuuh.

    February 18, 2014 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. tom l

    Sniffit,
    With all due respect, you do the same on the opposite side. You portray every rich person as lucky, didn't work hard to get their success, selfish and your newest charge, apparently all rich people are racists too. Much like you think repubs characterize all poor people are lazy and undeserving. Both arguments are completely ideologically driven, absolutely no foundation in truth and just plain stupid. You are no better just because you pick on rich people. You. Are. The. Same.

    But I'm sure you feel that you're better than them because you "care" about poor people (even though your policies actually hurt them and cost them more money)

    February 18, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  14. Gunderson

    Aw, Humm,
    After 100 years of Liberal Policies why we no better off than 1930's? Liberals tout Stimulus way to help jobs. So tell old Gunderson if big Liberal Policies so great why we still in 1930's. Because of Liberals printing money and adding inflation no wonder can't live on minimum wage. Hell you vote for it, now you no like it. Next time change vote! Or expect more of same.

    February 18, 2014 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. S. B. Stein

    I thought that the minimum wage to help those earning it to get out of or stay out of poverty. People should have been able to make a living on this but if not then what is the point?

    February 18, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  16. rs

    The reality that is being missed here is that the GOP STILL has no freakin' clue about how to fix the economy. Given how much better things are, it is pretty amazing it all happened with no help from the GOP- check that-in fact it happened with the GOP trying over and over to crash the economy with their debt ceiling dramas.
    Republicans- good to call when you need to help out those poor rich people, lousy for helping real Americans.

    February 18, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  17. rs

    The Democrat Solution – Pray You Will Not Be Collateral Damage of Their FAILED Policies
    Moron lefties in here... The minimum wage was NEVER meant to be a "living wage"!
    ____________
    Says who? Perhaps you need to get out more- most people I see in minimum wage jobs are doing them to get by- they are adults with kids, cars, and rents. Grow-up and do something useful for your fellow Americans. In case you still need help- being an apologist for plutocrats doesn't cut it.

    February 18, 2014 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  18. rs

    Donna
    What keeps people in poverty is their lack of education and skills worthy of higher pay. What keep people in poverty are abysmal life decisions and choices. If they have skills and are still poor then there are other personal problems involved, psychiatric, drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.
    _____________
    I agree- American youth need education, training, skills and more, and that is why I will never vote for a candidate from the GOP- they destroy public education-at all levels; they defunded state universities; they have wrecked the community college system. Technical programs-ended. They take food from poor kids. They have destroyed the social safety net to prevent drug addiction, gangs, and bullying in schools.
    All for tax breaks for rich people (the only people they seem to "value"). I am sure you sleep better knowing only their kids have the tools to succeed.
    When did the GOP give up on Americans?

    February 18, 2014 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  19. rs

    Rick McDaniel
    The point being, that trying to convert what were intended to be modest jobs primarily for teens and college students, for part time work, into full time work for adults, is going to take a toll on the number of jobs available for teens, although it might help some adults.

    Of course, neither party considers the issue of profitability for the businesses in question, which absolutely will decrease, and that may actually herald the closing of many fast food locations..........which hurts the poor more, because they are the primary users of fast food restaurants.
    _____________
    To a great extent, you are correct- however, now that real-live adults are competing with teens for fast food (and many other minimum wage jobs)- what is the solution? We cannot allow the creation of a permanent poor underclass- and as the GOP has no counter proposal- what should be done? Let people starve? They are working full-time (sometimes in several jobs).
    We live in the richest nation on earth, we have record corporate profits, and the greatest wage disparity in 100 years. Clearly- something needs fixed. At least the Democrats are trying.

    February 19, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  20. Ryche

    hahah sniffit.. you know when you start a paragraph with "whatever", you've already lost the arguement.. this potus is clueless when it comes to profit margin or job creation.. but we know you would jump off a cliff in order to do anything to defend this loser of a president.. How blind you are. how dutiful and faithful to a proven broken idealogue.

    February 19, 2014 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  21. Lizzie

    Sniffit, people LEGALY immigrate to this country believing that through work they can achieve anything, they take every job that is available not questioning if it's a low paying job or not. Democrats don't like that, they want those on handouts to stay on handouts and then brag how much they are doing for them, that's reality.

    February 19, 2014 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  22. Marie MD

    @donna, your success might be something special to you but your brain is stuck in the teaklan bubble so . . . . .
    There are people who have two and three jobs, with degrees, and are working their behinds off because they don't make enough from one job. It's not that people are lazy and just to reiterate it's not just the poor (aka Blacks) in inner cities there are a lot of white folks in urban areas who are also poor.
    The KY turkey, named for Ayn Rand, exemplifies what is wrong with your party and why the poor are thought of as lesser people.
    Two of her quotes that fit the repugs to a tee. "Money is the barometer of a society's virtue." What about family values? and . . . . . "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." Is cantor a fan of Ayn Rand also?

    February 19, 2014 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  23. salty dog

    The last paragraph said all the gop needs to hear,.and that's the real reason they'll fight this tooth and nail. Their a one trick pony, and that's just sad.

    February 19, 2014 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  24. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Well, the GOP clowns have NO CREDIBILITY on ANY ISSUE, dems win the house in November if we want ANYTHING to get done!!!!!!

    February 19, 2014 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  25. salty dog

    Don't you hear the lament coming through your every post. Your disgusting, I'm not broke, have an education, worked my way up. That being said, I agree you should aspire to more than minimum wage, but many don't have that opportunity. I raised two boys, by myself, working full time, I know how tough it is, government programs say I make to much, but I had nothing, staying afloat is harder than you think nowadays. You simply can't say its unfair to tax the rich more. If you had a struggling business that could be greatly improved by a sacrifice from 1% of the company, its a no brainer, but not so fast huh?

    February 19, 2014 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
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