As Democrats are wasting no time pushing their liberal agendas with President Biden at the helm, some issues can do even more damage due to timing. For instance, the House is pushing to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and while it has long been an issue, it may be even more irresponsible than usual to fight for it during a pandemic.
“This is a very poor time to start a series of minimum-wage hikes” reports National Review of the Democrats’ attempt to “raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, with the phase-in starting just three months after their bill is enacted.” Not only is it “bad policy at a bad time,” but passing it through the “budget reconciliation” process in order to avoid a filibuster would violate Senate rules. “they should drop this and focus their COVID-relief bill on actual COVID relief,” writes National Review.
While the minimum wage is “a simple policy with very complicated effects,” one thing that is clear, is “that a government-mandated wage hike isn’t just free money for workers. More than doubling the minimum wage when the economy is barely pulling out of a year-long slump amounts to gambling with the livelihoods of millions of American workers, consumers, and business owners.”
This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the Democrats’ plan would cost the U.S. 1.4 million jobs in 2025, meaning nearly 1 percent of total employment would lose their jobs, while those fortunate enough to remain employed would be paid more.
“At a minimum, any increase should not start phasing in until the pandemic is under control and the economy is closer to a full recovery” states National Review. Also, because there are not 60 votes “in the Senate for such a dramatic policy change at such an awful time” Democrats would pass their bill through the “reconciliation” process which is filibuster-proof and only requires 50 votes.
Democrats would be violating a process that “is reserved for matters that directly, and not merely incidentally, affect the federal budget” which Republicans stuck to even “when it made their Obamacare-repeal efforts incredibly difficult” reports National Review.