March 17 2014

Say It Ain't So, Warren: President's BFF Comes Out Against Minimum Wage Hike

Charlotte Hays

President Obama adopted Warren Buffett as his in-house, billionaire BFF, even making Buffett’s secretary, who supposedly paid a lower tax rate than her boss, a symbol of the inequity of the American tax system.

Well, that was yesterday.

Now the president’s pet billionaire has joined with two other “prominent billionaires” to come out against the president’s move to raise the minimum wage. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg called raising the minimum wage “one of the most misguided things we can do, you’re going to hurt the poor.”

Bill Gates, who founded, funded and presides over (with his wife) a $40 billion plus philanthropic foundation, said last week in a one on one conversation on poverty and prosperity with the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks that he worries that raising the minimum wage will “dampen” job creation. (Gates seemed more open to the value of the Earned Income Tax Credit.)

Zerohedge captured Buffet on the minimum wage hike (I am keeping Zero’s bolding):

"If you could have a minimum wage of $15 and it didn't hurt anything else, I would love it," Warren Buffet told CNBC this morning... "But clearly that isn't the case." And therein lies the rub that apparently the Democrats are incapable of comprehending. Hopefully, now that the Oracle of Omaha has spoken and explained that raising the minimum wage to $15 "wouldn't be a good idea," and suggested a different way to help the poor via the earned income tax credit. Buffett also explained that Obama should add further fiscal stimulus to create (or save, we assume) jobs.

I don’t know how President Obama will respond to the trahison of the billionaires. My guess is that it won’t make a dint in his thinking. He is inexperienced with intellectual back and forth. But this is the time that Republicans might do well to talk less about arcane economic matters and speak a simple truth: President Obama talks a good game, but he is harming poor people.

George Will has a terrific column this morning on how the Democrats are making income inequality worse. The president's move to hike the minimum wage is just the latest example. Will writes:

In the movie “Animal House,” Otter, incensed by the expulsion of his fraternity, says: “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture.”

Such thinking gives us minimum-wage increases that do very little for very few.

Will writes about the expansion of the food stamp program—did you know we now have food stamp “recruiters,” who help people overcome pride and embrace government dependency?

Far from reducing inequality, the Obama administration’s policies have made it more dramatic, piling up cash reserves at depository institutions because businesses are discouraged by government policies from using it to create businesses that hire people.

Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, is quoted:

…[according to Fisher], the federal government’s fiscal and regulatory policies discourage businesses from growing the economy with the mountain of money the Fed has created.

This is why “the most vital organ of our nation’s economy — the middle-income worker — is being eviscerated.” And why the loudest complaints about inequality are coming from those whose policies worsen it.

This is so simple: Barack Obama must love income inequality because he’s created so much of it.

Say it loud, say it clear. This is what the GOP should start saying about Obama (and by extension all Democrats).

The Democrats are not friends of the poor.

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