by Alex Lloyd Gross
The push to raise the Federal Minimum Wage is put into second gear. A dividing line between democrats and republicanst is never going to pass with such a divisive senate. This cause is supported by Vermont democrat Bernie Sanders. Through budget reconciliation, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote seems a surefire way to push this through. Republicans that are opposed will cite studies that support their narrative. One such study is the one conducted by the Congressional Budget Office.
“I find it hard to understand how the CBO concluded that raising the minimum wage would increase the deficit by $54 billion. Two years ago, CBO concluded that a $15 minimum wage would increase the deficit by less than $1 million over ten years. Further, several major studies done by the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics and the Economic Policy Institute both found that raising the minimum wage would amount to a significant reduction in the deficit.,” Sanders said in a statement.
Outgoing Senator Pat Toomey has come out against ANY increase Toomey represents Pennsylvania. In citing the CBO report, he said “The CBO has confirmed what we already knew: a universal and arbitrary federal $15-per-hour minimum wage will destroy jobs across the country. Our economy and job market are on the way back. A step like this, that CBO projects could kill between 1.4 million and 2.7 million jobs, is a surefire way to pull the rug out from under our recovery, send people to the unemployment line in droves, and eliminate job opportunities for so many entry-level workers.”
Sanders , and 37 Co-Sponsors of this bill see things differently. The report, which you can read here is full of reasons not to raise the wage. In states where the wage has been raised, the threat of higher prices and job losses has not materialized. It has been fact checked that in areas with a higher minimum wage, compared to the same places in Philadelphia where the worker was paid $8.50/hr . The prices were the same and the amount of workers on the shift was the same.
Some smaller businesses may have to lay off workers with a higher minimum wage. The upside to that is those workers will find employment elsewhere relatively easy. It’s a matter of working at a corner store or a 7-Eleven. Toomey believes it should be a state issue , yet some state lawmakers, including Pennsylvania, are not listening to their constituents on this issue. They are at the beck and call of highly paid lobbyists who paint doom and gloom when talking about raising the wage.These lobbyists contribute large sums of money to lawmakers. In the meantime, 60 percent of the population favors an increase. Toomey makes at least $174,000 per year. A fast food cook in Philadelphia gets $16,000 if they are lucky.
His office issued a statement That he does not support any federal increase. His office supplied This report
that states the average wage in PA is $18.99 per hour. This report is skewed in that it is not inclusive of every person. It clumps doctors with fast food cooks. In fact it lists the average wage for a fast food cook at $.9.98/hr. Anyone that does this work in a major city like Philadelphia or Pittsburgh can attest to the wage being more like $8.50./hr. As long as politicians are paid so much more than the people they represent, they will remain clueless as to their constituents needs.
“The good news, however, is that from a Byrd Rule perspective, the CBO has demonstrated that increasing the minimum wage would have a direct and substantial impact on the federal budget. What that means is that we can clearly raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour under the rules of reconciliation,” Sanders said. .