Alexander: Minimum Wage Hike “A Stale, Bankrupt, Ineffective Policy” That Will Destroy 500,000 Jobs

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

At a hearing on Wednesday of the Senate labor committee, Senator Lamar Alexander, the committee’s senior Republican, said there were better ideas with bipartisan support to reduce poverty than Democrats’ proposal to increase the minimum wage by nearly 40 percent, which would cause a loss of 500,000 jobs, according to a balanced view by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

“I believe families shouldn’t live in poverty but the idea of raising the minimum wage to address that is a stale, bankrupt, ineffective policy,” Senator Alexander said. “According to the Congressional Budget Office, it will cost low-wage workers 500,000 jobs, make it harder to create more jobs, and give 80 percent of the benefits to families above the poverty level.”

Senator Alexander said there are a number of amendments and proposals “that Republican senators would like to offer to this bill when we have an opportunity to amend it—proposals that will create a pro-growth economy with more good jobs.”

“There are better ideas,” Senator Alexander said. “Reform refundable tax credits to benefit all low-income workers, replace long-term unemployment compensation with job training, change Obamacare’s work week definition from 30 hours to 40 to encourage full-time jobs, and use existing federal education dollars to give children of low-income families a $2,100 scholarship to choose a better school.”

At the hearing, in response to Senator Alexander’s questions, Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf testified that the CBO projects job losses as a result of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could reach as high as 1 million, or as little as a very slight decrease, and that 500,000 losses was its “central estimate.”

Mr. Elmendorf also testified that just one in five of the dollars earned from the increase will go to workers who are members of families below the poverty level, and that nearly one-third of those families that would benefit from the minimum wage increase already earn more than three times the poverty level.

Senator Alexander said,“My hope is that if we were going to continue to consider this proposal about jobs, that we would be allowed to offer amendments that would do better than cause a loss of 500,000 jobs—according to a balanced view by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office—and would provide benefits to a greater share of Americans living below the poverty level than the 2 percent this proposal would help—also according to the CBO—and that would not make it more expensive to create jobs, which would seem to me to be exactly the opposite of what we should be doing in a period of time when we’ve had such longstanding unemployment among so many people.

“We would like to raise family incomes. We would like to help people move up the economic ladder. But we have a different philosophy. We’d like to take the big, wet blanket of rules and regulations off the economy that has been put on in the last few years and offer specific amendments that would that would create more growth in our economy, more jobs.”


TVA Releases Draft Environmental Assessment For Johnsonville Steam Supply

The Tennessee Valley Authority has released a draft Environmental Assessment on a proposal that would allow the Johnsonville Fossil Plant site to continue to provide steam for cogeneration use after the coal plant closes. The draft study considers the environmental effects of the two alternatives under consideration: A) take no action or B) add a heat recovery steam generator ... (click for more)

Attorney General Reaches Settlement With Middle Tennessee Auto Dealer

Middle Tennessee auto dealer, Wholesale Inc., has agreed to immediately change its advertising practices and pay the State of Tennessee $50,000, Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III announced. A Davidson County Court approved the settlement between Wholesale, Inc., the Tennessee Attorney General's Office, and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. The agreement centers ... (click for more)

Erlanger's Good Financial News Continues With $11.4 Million Profit For Past 3 Months; Profit At $25.3 Million After 9 Months

Erlanger Health System's good financial news keeps coming - with the announcement on Monday of a profit of $11.4 million for the past three months. Brit Tabor said the hospital has a profit of $25.3 million for the first nine months of the fiscal year. Kevin Spiegel, hospital president, said more good news is projected for the fourth quarter. Mr. Tabor said, "Our market ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Get $100 Million New Electronic Medical Records System

Erlanger Health System will be getting a new electronic medical records system costing just short of $100 million, Erlanger CEO and President Kevin Spiegel said Monday. He said the old Legacy IT system was the hospital's #1 dissatisfaction source. The hospital board is to be asked to approve the system, which will be paid for over several years, at the May board meeting. ... (click for more)

Time-Out On Housing PILOTs

Kudos to the? ?City Council? ?and County Commission for? ?beginning thoughtful discussions about housing PILOTs. A growing number of? ?citizens from across the political spectrum hope you? ?continue your ?good work by calling a time-out on? ?housing PILOTs until you? ?adopt policies and procedures about how these tax breaks are evaluated, monitored and enforced.  I suggest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why The British Attacked

This was a pretty big week exactly 240 years ago and what happened then is really important now. The British Army, after arriving in increasing numbers seven years before, decided to launch a sneak attack on Concord, Mass., and several other towns in mid-April of 1775. Their purpose was simple: take away every gun you can find. Confiscate every weapon of any kind. It was believed ... (click for more)