Washington Should Raise Wages without Killing Jobs
(Washington, D.C.) – Although the U.S. economy currently faces a range of challenges, much of the debate in Washington centers around whether to increase the minimum wage. Policymakers should creatively review other options and seek out those that can encourage job growth, and increase take home pay – without putting vulnerable Americans out of work.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, increasing the minimum wage would eliminate up to 1 million jobs, while lifting about 900,000 Americans out of poverty. This would also lead to increased payroll costs which could hurt small businesses, who will be saddled with higher taxes. Washington should consider other options. For example, Congress and the President previously worked together to lower payroll taxes – a move that boosted take-home pay for most workers – but canceled that tax reduction last year – raising taxes on the vast majority of Americans. Some states are considering a lower minimum wage for teens, many of whom are currently locked out of the job market. Some have suggested measures to ensure couples do not pay higher taxes simply because they are married. Lawmakers should be open to new ideas that improve the economy and raise wages, rather than being stuck in a narrow, partisan debate.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"All too often, Washington gets stuck in stale, partisan debates that are more about which political side wins and loses than how to help American families – especially those struggling to join the ranks of the Middle Class. No one is helped by these dead-end fights. There are many ideas – old and new – on how to grow the economy, raise wages, and lift the costly tax and regulatory burden on entrepreneurs without government mandates. According to the White House, the economy has been in a 'recovery' since 2009 – but even during this period of supposed growth, median household income has fallen by thousands of dollars. As if this slowdown were not bad enough, there are signs that the economy may be getting worse. This is no time for the President and Congress to give up on measures to boost our economy. It is time for them to consider new ideas, and find a way to agree on steps that improve the lives of working families."
For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 571-257-3309 or Steven Cruz, 202-578-6173.