An ever-increasing federal minimum wage is a statist panacea. Even Mitt Romney supported tying it to inflation in the 2012 campaign. But the CBO on Tuesday released its report scoring the proposals, and the numbers aren’t good.
If the minimum wage were raised on $10.10, as the Obama administration has proposed, somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million jobs could be lost over the next two years:
Once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent, CBO projects. As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger; in CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million worker
Economists and politicians have debated for decades about the minimum wage’s effect on employment, but the non-partisan government calculator has spit out a decisively negative result, at least for employment.
Adding more salt to the wound, the CBO finds that raising the minimum wage also won’t be the immediate fix for poverty that many thing it would:
The increased earnings for low-wage workers
Given this week’s news of yet another delay to yet another Obamacare regulation that just five short years ago was going to literally keep people from dying in the streets, I thought an illustration would be useful. So here it is:
Yep. That’s it. That’s Obamacare in a nutshell.
I first saw this image linked to Obamacare by Twitter user @cuffymeh (#FF) a couple years ago during the 2012 presidential campaign when the first delays and waivers started popping up. I laughed for a good 10 minutes. It perfectly portrays everything about Obamacare in one neat, catastrophic package.
The absurdly huge amount of flame represents the massive size of the failure so far. From waivers, to delays, to implementation, to website failures, to coverage gaps, to state rebukes, to ever-sinking poll numbers. It is uniquely appropriate that there are more flames and smoke than train in the photo.
While it is, of course, a still photo, the train does have a sense of motion, but it seems like a very sluggish, hampered speed. Obamacare has moved just as slowly and ungracefully. Some of the parts that would eventually become the law started being proposed in 2007 even before the 2008 presidential campaign heated up (pun fully intended).
The New Republic is only repeating what several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), have said: Obamacare is a step in the direction of a single-payer healthcare system.
The lede in the piece is that Michael Moore got it right when he describe Obamacare as “awful” because it “preserved the health insurance industry preserved the health insurance industry rather than replacing it with a Medicare-for-all style single-payer system.” Like Moore, The New Republic, a far-leftist publication, posits that Medicaid expansion through Obamacare is the key to luring Americans into socialized medicine.
“[O]ne day soon, especially if Medicaid becomes more generous, the working-class person who makes 175% of the poverty level will look at his working-class neighbor making 130% of the poverty level and think, wow, his health insurance seems a lot better than my private Obamacare plan,” wrote Noam Scheiber recently at The New Republic. “How long can it be before most people earning 175% or 200% of the poverty level are allowed to buy in, too?”
Scheiber believes that the same thing could happen with Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for the elderly, surmising that “progressives are likely to get their beloved public option one way or another” in the near future.
Listening to lawmakers talk about the economy when they do not understand the mechanisms behind capitalism can be quite frustrating. Too often, they are unaware of how the system works and why it gives rise to affordable services and products, making trade and the distribution of several products, from basic to valuable items, accessible to nearly almost every American.
But every now and then, a legislator comes along to prove that they weren’t only elected to brag about passing complicated laws on national television.
Sean Hannity had Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as a guest on his show to ask him a few questions regarding ObamaCare, the problematic Health Insurance Marketplace website and why Americans are appalled to have learned that their insurance premiums are actually much higher now than they were before the law kicked in.
According to Sen. Paul “if you mandate what is included in your insurance policy, if you say it has to cover all kinds of new things that haven’t been covered, it has to be more expensive,” which is why so many young and healthy people are quickly discovering that their coverage is much more expensive than before. While the Obama administration is attempting to give access to health coverage to every single American through ObamaCare, the final cost was apparently never taken into consideration.
The administration keeps repeating that people will now get better coverage without having to pay as much, but consumers are slowly learning that that is simply untrue, since all they have access to is insurance premiums offering excessive coverage that do not fit their budget.
One truth about politics: when those who have taken up one side of an issue are forced to accept and defend that same issue, should it suit their needs to do so, the acknowledgement of their previous criticism will be generally non-existent.
Take the histrionics surrounding 2010’s Citizens United decision — “Corporations aren’t people! They shouldn’t have First Amendment rights! Elections will be bought and sold by evil dark money special interest groups! Those with the most cash will always win!”
Forgetting for a moment that Barack Obama managed to get re-elected despite the impressive amount of money that was raised to support Mitt Romney via super PACs that were not associated with his actual campaign, this idea that corporations — really just groups of people — shouldn’t retain First Amendment speech rights is proving quite the interesting conundrum for those who both HATED the Citizens United decision but now find themselves DESPISING that National Security Agency’s (NSA) peek under the hood at millions of lines of metadata on American citizens’ phone records.
Because corporations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Google are taking the uncomfortable action of invoking their First Amendment speech rights to file suit, in the case of the former, and in requesting the release of records showing exactly how persistent the government was in insisting that the search giant provide them private information on American citizens.
Michael Turk wrote a terrific blog post detailing a similarly terrific piece on the ACLU v. Clapper case by Wendy Kaminer at The Atlantic at his blog, Kung Fu Quip:
The rise of the so-called “liberty movement,” which sprang out of the early days of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, and of the tea party movement, which was a reaction to the one-party Democrat rule in Washington after the 2008 elections (with Obama’s victory being the likely spark) has forced the Republican Party to wrestle with warring factions in an attempt to establish a winning coalition.
Those in the media love to paint the GOP’s internal struggle as evidence of a party in the throes of extinction; as a party out-of-touch with mainstream America. But I think the “growing pains” the GOP are experiencing could potentially strengthen the Republican Party.
I am of the opinion that we have two political parties in our first-past-the-post electoral system. Few candidates have won major office in recent history under the banner of any party other than the Republican or Democrat parties. There are exceptions, but they’re rare, and those candidates usually win because of their personality, rather than a set of ideals on which a party platform could be constructed. Think Maine’s Angus King or Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman.
It is with that understanding that many within the “liberty movement” in Virginia have begun working within the Republican Party to move it in a more (small-L) libertarian direction. Our reasoning is that political parties do not hold a certain philosophy; they are vessels through which their members advance a set of ideas and beliefs. As the GOP looks for a path forward, it should look to the way the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) has embraced liberty activists.
Well, this is entirely unsurprising. With Obamacare looking like a political liability for Democrats in the 2014 mid-term election, the White House and its Leftist allies are looking to launch initiatives to raise the minimum wage in states where vulnerable incumbents face tough bids for re-election:
Democratic Party leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014: an increase in the minimum wage.
The effort to take advantage of growing populism among voters in both parties is being coordinated by officials from the White House, labor unions and liberal advocacy groups.
“It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser. “You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.”
At the same time, Democratic campaign officials and liberal activists — conceding that Democrats face tough prospects in some Senate races — are working to put minimum-wage increases on the ballot next year in places like Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota. The hope is to stoke Democratic turnout in conservative-leaning states where the party’s Senate candidates have been put on the defensive by the mishandled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
Media Matters for America, the leftist “watchdog” organization funded in part by George Soros, declared victory on Friday in its long battle against Fox News and is moving on to other fronts, including social media and blogs:
[I]n the coming years, Fox will no longer be the center of Media Matters’ universe. That’s because the group believes it has effectively discredited the network’s desire to be seen as “fair and balanced.”
“The war on Fox is over,” said Media Matters Executive Vice President Angelo Carusone. “And it’s not just that it’s over, but it was very successful. To a large extent, we won.”
According to its strategic plan for the next three years, a copy of which was provided to The Huffington Post, Media Matters envisions shifting its focus to new, increasingly influential targets, including Spanish-language media, social media streams, alternative online outlets and morning and entertainment sources. It will enhance its state media and issue-based monitoring, as well as continue its focus on right-wing radio and legacy outlets.
Fox News has long-been a target of the left. Media Matters and others claim that it has a conservative bias. President Barack Obama has called Fox News “destructive” and some of his subordinates have labeled the news channel as a “wing of the Republican Party.”
We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the senseless, tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a madman killed 26 people, including 20 young children.
This shooting left a lot of questions about motive and rekindled a dormant debate over gun control in the United States, leading to a series of executive orders signed by President Obama that would not have prevented this tragedy, nor will the actions stop future incidents. The push culminated in the defeat of onerous new anti-gun measures in April, including policies long-pushed by gun control advocates.
Despite frequent talk of reviving the gun control issue, the White House and Senate Democrats have been unable to gather enough support to move any legislation forward. Still, activist organizations have been trying to gin up grassroots support wherever they can.
The latest example comes from Organizing for Action (OFA), a Leftist grassroots organization formed out of the remnants of President Obama’s 2012 campaign that advocates for policies pushed by the White House.
The organization is urging Leftist activists and gun control advocates to host “a Newtown Anniversary Event” on December 14 to mark the tragic shooting:
There is a new wrinkle in the IRS scandal. Documents obtained by USA Today shows that the tax agency targeted Tea Party and conservative groups specifically because of what they deemed to be “anti-Obama rhetoric” (emphasis added):
Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about ”anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.
The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”
Tax law experts say those comments appear to show IRS employees trying to apply the murky rules governing political activities by social welfare groups.
But the American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit legal institute that represents 23 of the groups appearing on the IRS list, said it appears to be “the most powerful evidence yet of a coordinated effort” by the IRS to target Tea Party groups.