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Via the Washington Free Beacon:
A top White House economist says that President Obama’s minimum wage increase will have “zero effect” on employment, despite a CBO report that the proposed hike would likely eliminate 500,000 jobs.
“Our view is that zero is a perfectly reasonable estimate of the impact of raising the minimum wage on employment,” Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman said on a conference call with reporters shortly after the report came out.
Furman said the CBO was out-of-step with the White House’s views on the proposed 40 percent hike, though he praised the report for highlighting wage boosts that will accompany the hike.
“Sometimes you have respectful disagreement among economists,” he said of the parts of the study that did not confirm White House rhetoric about the $10.10 wage.
The CBO report found that the wage hike leave up to 1 million workers unemployed, and that the vast majority of benefits would go to middle class earners rather than those living below the poverty line.
“The $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers,” the CBO said. “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 workers.”
Waiting – just waiting – for anyone in the administration, or a Congressional Democrat, to spin this the same way they did a week and a half ago when another CBO report provided troubling numbers on future employment in the US as a result of the eventual full implementation of Obamacare. National Review’s Jonah Goldberg wrote at the time:
The Congressional Budget Office issued a politically explosive report this week, finding that Obamacare will reduce the number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. This is different from killing 2.5 million jobs, Obamacare defenders are quick to insist. This will be a shortfall on the supply, not demand, side. In other words, people with health insurance will opt not to work in certain circumstances if they know they won’t lose their coverage.
Democrats insist this is a boon. Indeed, many are talking about it as an act of liberation (which reminds me of an eleven-year-old headline from theOnion: “IBM Emancipates 8,000 Wage Slaves”).
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says the CBO report vindicates Obamacare, because “this was one of the goals: to give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked, but to follow their passion.” [...]
Right. “Job-locked.” How dare you be obligated to have to work for a living to pay your bills and be a responsible adult. You follow YOUR passions, while the rest of us go to work to pay for them! Those of us who haven’t lost our jobs once the minimum wage is raised, that is …
(Hat tip: Memeorandum)
Related: From PJ Tatler – WH: Employers Can Prevent Job Losses After Minimum Wage Hike by ‘Accepting Lower Profit Margins’