Podcast: State of the Union, Bank Fees, Spending Freeze, War on Terror, Gay Equality, Guests: Andisheh Nouraee & Jeff Scott

In a move that caused them to have more fun than normal, Jason and Brett were joined by Andisheh Nouraee and Jeff Scott this week.

Their discussion covered:

Obama’s minimum wage will hurt workers more than help

minimum wage

“So what are the effects of increasing minimum wages? Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: The higher wage reduces the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment.” - Paul Krugman (1998)

During the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour. This policy is one that is frequently pushed by the political left.

Because Democrats, who had complete control of Congress, were hesistant to continue funding military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, President George W. Bush agreed to an increase in the minimum wage to attract their votes. For Democrats, the minimum wage is a path to their ultimate goal of a so-called “living wage.” Labor unions, however, push the issue because many of their contracts are indexed to the minimum wage.

President Obama’s latest gimmick may sound good, but ultimately raising the minimum wage has the opposite of the intended effect. Looking at the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 5.2% of workers make at or below the minimum wage. That number is up some from recent years, which is due to lingering economic stagnation. Of that 5.2% of workers, 49.5% are between the ages of 16 and 24 — nearly one in four are between 16 and 19.

Marco Rubio’s underwhelming response to the State of the Union

Marco Rubio delivers the GOP response

You’ve no doubt heard about Sen. Marco Rubio’s stopping his speech for a few seconds to take a couple swigs of water — now known as “Rubio-ing,” because what the world needs is yet another meme. However, the substance of Sen. Rubio’s speech, in which he tried to present a distinction between the Republican Party and the vision of President Barack Obama, is vastly more important.

After the pleasantries and offering giving his extraordinary background, Sen. Rubio went right after President Obama’s economic agenda.

“Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity,” Sen. Rubio explained. “But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough.”

Sen. Rubio added that President Obama’s “solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.”

He went right after the heart of President Obama’s proposed solutions to economic problems facing the country, explaining that more government isn’t going to get Americans ahead nor will it create more opportunities or inspire new ideas.

RNC video shows Obama’s recycled themes

In my brief write-up of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, I noted that many of themes we heard were familiar. It was the same tired campaign speech that he’s been giving since decided to run for his party’s nomination. And the same one he’s been giving since he took office in 2009.

How recycled were the themes? The Republican National Committee put out a smart video shortly after Obama’s address. As you can see, they’re not even trying to put out new ideas anymore. It’s literally the same retread, worn, and failed ideas:

I’m not naive enough to believe that any Republican, outside of Ron Paul, is offering anything real in terms of shaking up the status quo in Washington. But as you can see, Obama doesn’t have anything real to give to Americans to explain his disaster presidency.

Mitch Daniels will counter Obama’s State of the Union address

Next Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama will deliver his fourth State of the Union address — and hopefully, his last. While we don’t yet know the themes and issues that Obama will discuss, we got a hint of what is to come in the Republican response as House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will counter Obama’s address:

In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised Daniels as “a fierce advocate for smaller, less costly and more accountable government” and said that he “has the record to prove it.”

“For making tough choices and keeping his promises, Mitch Daniels is the right choice at the right time to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s address,” Boehner added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called Daniels “an eloquent spokesman for limited government” and said that he “knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure.”

“He is a forceful advocate of pro-growth policies like fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security,” McConnell said. “And he is the right choice to explain the challenges we face and to outline a hopeful, common-sense vision for moving America forward by growing the economy, not the national debt.”

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Wednesday, February 2nd

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.