Jobs and economy are the top topics for most Americans. The Obama administration has had three and half years to address the matters and turn things around, but they haven’t. The only successful thing the Democrats have achieved is pointing the finger of blame at Republicans for their own failures.
When the Democrats have tried to kick start the economy and create jobs, they’ve done so by throwing money into the air and hoping it lands on enough businesses to prompt them to start hiring. First there was the famous Stimulus plan that tossed over $800 billion dollars into the air. Some of it landed on General Motors, some landed on companies like Solyndra, First Solar and Beacon Power, some landed in the pockets of bureaucrats, politicians and friends of Obama and some of the Stimulus money fell on businesses overseas who did create jobs – over there.
When that didn’t work, some Democrats advocated another stimulus. Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-CA) has been pushing for a $1 trillion stimulus for social programs which she says would fix everything. This came about after the U.S. credit rating had already been lowered because we can’t pay our debts.
Now, a number of Democrats have hatched another plan that they claim will help lower and middle class Americans. They want to raise the minimum wage limit by 35% and then tie it to the inflation rate. They also want to increase the minimum wage paid to employees who receive tips by over 200%.
Three different bills have been introduced to accomplish this:
- Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2012 which would raise the minimum wage by 35%, from the current $7.25 to $9.80 per hour and then index it to inflation. It would also raise the minimum wage for tip earners by over 200% by increasing it to 70% of the minimum wage.
- Rep. Rosa Delauro (D-CT) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) have introduced the Rebuild America Act which also would raise the minimum wage by 35%, from the current $7.25 to $9.80 per hour and then index it to inflation. It would also raise the minimum wage for tip earners by over 200% by increasing it to 70% of the minimum wage.
- Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr. (D-IL) introduced the Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012, which would raise the minimum wage by 38% from the current $7.25 to $10 per hour and then index it to inflation. It would also raise the minimum wage for tip earners by over 200% by increasing it to 70% of the minimum wage.
Business sectors that would be most affected by the minimum wage hikes would be retail, restaurants, hotels and entertainment. Many of these businesses are barely surviving in today’s struggling economy. Being forced into a 35% increase in wages would be more than their bottom lines can afford. The results would be more layoffs and more businesses closing their doors, resulting in lost jobs.
According to the Employment Policies Institute, the number of jobs that could be lost by such a huge increase in the minimum wage could run from 256,200 to 768,600. This would hit the younger workforce (25 year old and younger) the hardest since they make up nearly 50% of those earning minimum wage at this time. The unemployment rate for this age group is already at 23.8%.
Michael Saltsman, a researcher with EPI commented on their findings saying:
“The Democratic Party still refuses to acknowledge that wage hikes kill job opportunities.