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CBO Chief Backs Report Showing Impacts of Minimum Wage Increase

Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan

Alberto González - published on 02/19/14

As Democrats challenge the latest findings, Republicans welcome them as validation of their case.

On Wednesday, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf defended the findings of his group’s report on the impact of raising the minimum wage. Since the report’s publication, Democrats have been attacking the non-partisan CBO for stating that raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would result in a loss of 500,000 jobs nationwide.

“We think our estimates are completely consistent with the latest thinking in the economic profession,” Elmendorf told reporters in Washington. “My personal views are completely irrelevant to the work we do,” he added, asserting that Congress hired the office “to do objective analysis.”

The report also mentioned the positive outcomes of the proposed wage hike: 16.5 million Americans would see a rise in their income as a result of the raise.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted the report, claiming that its conclusions “contradict the consensus among hundreds of America’s top economists, who predict that a wage hike would actually stimulate the economy, raise demand and job growth, and provide help in job creation.” 

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans embraced the study as corroboration for their arguments against the raise currently being proposed by congressional Democrats and the White House.

A statement from House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) office read: “While helping some, mandating higher wages has real costs, including fewer people working. With unemployment being Americans’ top concern, our focus should be creating – not destroying – jobs for those who need them most.”

Alberto González is the Associate Editor of Aleteia’s English edition. His prior endeavors have included working in political campaigns and in the United States Senate. He also maintains an active schedule as a liturgical vocalist and organist.

A native of California, Alberto graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Music and Political Science. He currently lives in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

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