AirTalk for February 19, 2014

Wage hike would raise pay for 16.5M, but cut 500K jobs, says CBO

House Budget Cmte Holds Hearing On CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) (C) debates as ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) (R) and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) listens during a hearing in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill February 5, 2014 in Washington, DC.

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says that increasing the national minimum wage to $10.10 would cause the loss of 500,000 jobs but would raise earnings for about 16.5 million low-wage workers. 

The report also states that 900,000 fewer people would live below the poverty line. President Obama and many Congressional Democrats argue that raising the minimum wage from $7.25/hour would reduce income inequality.

Critics say that the consequences of increasing the minimum wage, including unemployment, outweigh the benefits, and argue that focusing on creating jobs should be the top priority.

In its report, the CBO laid out two plans for raising the minimum wage, including a lower-impact solution that would bring hourly wages to $9 and hour. The President and Democrats support the $10.10/hour wage.

Does a higher minimum wage put an undue burden on job creators and business owners? How might workers be impacted by higher wages? How will consumers fare? 


David Neumark, Chancellor's Professor of Economics and Director, Center for Economics & Public Policy, Department of Economics, UC Irvine

David Cooper, Economic Analyst and minimum wage expert at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)


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