Thursday, February 20, 2014

When did the CBO turn Partisan?

Has the CBO Director, Douglas Elmendorf, been taking cash bribes from conservative operatives?

By deliberately misinterpreting an earlier CBO report, conservative lawmakers have claimed that Obamacare would cost some 2.3 million jobs—when really, it would just be the number of hours that workers would voluntarily not work, which would be the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time jobs—not 2.3 million lost jobs that employers would cut or not offer.

With 93 million Americans not in the work force, but of which 48 million want a full-time job, those 2.3 million full-time hours should be easily absorbed by those who are already unemployed and looking for work.

According to another controversial report released by the CBO this week, conservative lawmakers have claimed that raising the minimum wage would cost up to 500,000 lost jobs by late 2016 (even though that may or may not actually happen), while not also mentioning that a higher minimum wage would raise 16.5 million Americans out of poverty.

And yet, because of the federal budget cuts that Congress had already voted for last year, 2 million jobs might actually be lost by 2019—but there could be as many as 7 million jobs that are never even created because of those budget cuts, according to the Economic Policy Institute. But little is ever said about this.

Budget cuts, also known as austerity, are the most damaging economic decision Congress has made since the financial crisis. Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers several times that austerity measures would hurt the economy, but they largely ignored his warnings. Jobs lost to government budget cuts are part of the reason why the economy still looks so weak.

AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka says conservatives will use a new CBO report as an excuse to avoid raising the minimum wage and create "subservient, scared workers whose suffering will expand their stock portfolios".

A letter signed in January by more than 600 economists endorsed the $10.10 minimum wage proposal. These economists, mainly academics, wrote that the weight of evidence showed that "increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market."

The nonpartisan budget office, under the helm of CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, seems to have become a little more partisan lately.

No comments:

Post a Comment