Having pretty much called The Obama’s last State of the Union Speech (more taxes, more spending, etc.), I have to ask one question. Why is the backslash key so close to the backspace key? Oops, wrong question. I meant to ask, does he just take his previous State of the Union speeches and use a cut and paste method to write the latest one? Does writing a State of the Union speech in the Obama Whitehouse consist of Obama looking over the speechwriter’s shoulder and telling them to “put something in there from a speech where I blamed Republicans (or George W. Bush) for everything?” ” Now just put in a lot of the same stuff I’ve said before, but make it sound new.” “By the way, hurry it up, I have a tee time in an hour.”
Anyway, one thing I didn’t predict was that The Barack would call for raising the minimum wage to thirty five thousand dollars an hour…, sorry, I mean nine dollars an hour. Looking back on it, because the federal minimum wage law has long been a bone of contention between the right and the left, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.
As I mentioned, an apparent ultra liberal like Obama calling for a massive jump in minimum wage shouldn’t be any real surprise. What is making me wonder about his true intent is both the ridiculous jump in the amount, and how hard he is pursuing this, even beyond bringing it up in the State of the Union speech. Since going from $7.25 to $9.00 per hour would be nearly a twenty five percent increase, the amount he is talking about is huge.
Before I go on, I do want to point out something about wages. First of all, you will notice that in the previous paragraph, I referred to the jump in the minimum wage to an “increase”, not a “raise”. While employees may look at any upward movement in their paychecks as a raise, and it is, employees are the last person in a long line of entities to get a cut of their pay. Most of these entities, and the federal government is definitely well represented in this group, get money because of wages without the employees even being aware of it.
I think most people who get a paycheck are pretty aware of the amount of withholding (to cover their predicted income tax bill) and “social security tax” (that’s not exactly what it is, but that’s how people are encouraged to think of it) that’s deducted from their paychecks. After all, those dollar amounts are shown right on the check stub. People are a lot less aware (I mean other than employers who really know this) of the other expenses that employers have to pay based on the amount of employees salary. Just for a short list, there are additional taxes, several kinds of insurance, accounting fees, and etc. that are either wholly, or partially based on the gross amount of employee payroll. It is not uncommon at all for an employee to cost the employer twice the amount of their salary. In other words, while The Obama may suggest a “raise” of a dollar and seventy five cents per hour and be hailed as a progressive hero looking out for the downtrodden, what he is really calling for is drastically increasing payroll expenses for anybody who employs people at the lower end of the labor pool.
Despite the left in general, and in this instance Obama in particular, claiming increases in minimum wage help the overall workforce, they know better (well, maybe not Nancy Pelosi who publicly claims every dollar of unemployment insurance we pay out increases our economy). After all, if increases in the federal minimum wage really were helpful, then the politicians on both the right and the left would be contesting with each other to see who could propose the largest increase (except in that instance Harry Reid and Barack Obama would probably be trying to get rid of the minimum wage, but I digress).
Because even a pretty marginal economist (like some of the ones who work for the federal government) can draw a pretty straight line between increases in the federal minimum wage and increased consumer costs and decreased job opportunities for people trying to enter the work place, I have to wonder why Obama has punted this particular political football, at this particular time. What is the real goal? Is he trying to draw attention away from something, such as Ben Ghazi? Are there some other things that he would like to drive out of the news? Or is there a different reason for the odd timing of this that just wouldn’t occur to a conservative?
After a lot of thought concerning this sudden, literally out of “left field”, call for a huge jump in the federal minimum wage, I’ve come to wonder if this isn’t one of those instances where The Barack is talking past the people on the right and directly to the dependent class. In other words, I wonder if this is more of the “code talking” he employed, which worked, during the last Presidential campaign.
When I hear Obama call for a huge increase in minimum wage, I immediately think of increased consumer costs, increased unemployment, and lost economic opportunities (because that will be the result) for both employers and employees. Clearly, Barack Obama is not addressing me, or people like me. After all why should he waste his time on us?
If that’s what I hear, what do the people who depend on the federal government hear? Do they hear “I really, really care for you, and while I know a lot of you aren’t working, if you were, you are such valuable people that even the least skilled among you would be worth at least nine dollars an hour?” Personally, I think that’s what they hear, and that it’s what Obama wants them to hear.
Because The Barack has clearly taught the ever-increasing dependent class to vote for “more” (which means him and his progressive policies) it seems he’s now refining how he communicates with them, without wasting time on, or having to go through, people who oppose him.
Bruce Kreitler is the author of Obamageddon (the Culmination of the Progressive Looting of America) and posts this and other articles at BruceKreitler.com.