Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) urge members of the House of Representatives to vote against the Raise the Wage Act.
The Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582) was introduced by Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) on January 16, 2019. The Act would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour after five years. It would also increase the minimum wage for tipped employees.
Representatives should vote against this bill because raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour would kill jobs and hurt American workers.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office reached the same conclusion in its July 8th report titled: “The Effects on Employment and Family Income of Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage.”
The report describes how increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would likely result in 3.7 million fewer jobs. As Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has pointed out, 3.7 million jobs is the entire population of the state of Oklahoma.
In addition, the report mentions that a higher minimum wage would lead to higher prices for consumers and would reduce the nation’s output. Finally, the CBO estimates that a $15 per hour minimum wage would reduce total real family income by $9 billion in 2025.
The report suggests that increasing the minimum wage would lead employers to replace their low-wage workers with machines or higher-wage employees. Employers could also reduce their workers’ benefits to compensate for the higher wage, or they might hire more independent contractors.
The effects of this bill are in sharp contrast to the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and deregulatory actions by the Trump Administration. These actions have created more than 5.6 million new jobs since January 2017. In addition, for the past 16 months, the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%. Further, the unemployment rates for Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Americans with Disabilities, and Veterans have been at record lows. The unemployment rate for adult women is also very low.
In contrast, empirical evidence from the states and most studies have shown that increasing the minimum wage only hurts the lowest-wage earners.
Because the Raise the Wage Act will hurt the low-wage workers that tax reform and deregulation have helped, Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Worker Freedom strongly urge members of Congress to vote NO on the Raise the Wage Act.