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Warning on minimum wage
February 18th, 2014
05:49 PM ET

Warning on minimum wage

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that gradually raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers.

But Republicans and Democrats reacted with lightning speed and polarizing conclusions to the report. Which side is right?

In the Crossfire tonight, Former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean and former Maryland Governor Bob Erlich join Van Jones and S.E. Cupp to debate.

We want you to weigh in on Today's Fireback question: Do you think raising the minimum wage would cost jobs?

Vote by tweeting Yes or No using #Crossfire or comment on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page.

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Filed under: economy • In the Crossfire • Minimum wage
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Johne780

    obviously like your website however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will definitely come again again. fkdgedeecead

    June 1, 2014 at 7:48 am | Reply
  2. kurt


    Here's the thing... businesses are already looking to maximize profit. If they could operate with less employees with a minimum wage of 7 dollars, then they'll do the same with a minimum wage of 10 dollars. It will eat into their profit margin because they've already minimized their workforce.

    Businesses try to do this periodically with no change to the minimum wage when they feel themselves becoming bloated with employees. That's what those large scale layoffs are about.

    The only job losses that happen that wouldn't have happened at some point anyway are those that happen when a business can no longer compete in the market because of the change. If a business is barely staying profitable at 7 dollars an hour, then upping it to 10 might put them out of business. This would cause those jobs to disappear.

    But in reality those businesses that:
    -pay less then 10 dollars an hour now
    -work through government contracts and
    – aren't profitable enough to pay 10 dollars an hour

    I think there's an assumption by the CBO that some businesses will cut their workforce to account for the higher wage level. But that would either have already happened or would happen anyway regardless of the minimum wage requirements. Businesses don't have extra employees around for kicks. And while sometime there is unwaranted growth in employment... the businesses cut them back periodically on their own regardless of the labor law situation.

    February 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  3. mike the frog

    Freeze congressional pay to avoid job losses.

    February 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  4. Minnie Mouse

    I think both sides are wrong. The only way for anyone to lift themselves out of poverty is to get a college education or skilled in something beside minimum wage jobs. The wages have been needing to be raised for years. No one deserves a $2.85 hour raise that is working in fast food, a job that I worked when I was 15 years old because that's how easy it its. It takes no skill.

    No one will be lifted out of poverty because all of the prices will be raised on nearly everything and the ones who feel they will not need state aid or federal aid assistance, are still indeed going to need assistance. Jobs will not be hiring, work hours will be cut, employees will doing more work and now everyone is going to want a raise. You don't just hand out to people $2.85 hourly raise. This will be for someone who is currently making $7.25 hourly.

    To lift people out of poverty this is what the government needs to require for everyone who doesn't have it and offer everyone else incentives (middle class) as well to strive and to keep up with the high costs of living.

    College education and free to everyone, mandated costs of living raises, mandated yearly bonuses for a certain percentage of all company profits.

    February 20, 2014 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • litllebit

      we lifted them up, companies cant make the same profits so they raise the prices, now they raise the min wage again down the road. same thing happens again, min wage goes up business ups their price, it will never end.

      February 20, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  5. T-Thaddeus

    Are you kidding me, really! Look at BIG businesses and their overloaded upper management teams with fantastic salaries. Oh did I forget to mention that BONUS at the end of fiscal year probably gets them 6 x more than their salary......BITE ME! You conservative chumps who think the Republicans are our saviors need to look in the past 40 years and see who was the President and did they have a Republican or Democrat House of Reps. Percentage should tell you the REPUBLICANS did this to us. I should know I was a REPUBLICAN up until 10 years ago when I saw the handwriting on the wall. I left Chicago, moved to NW Arkansas and it was great 19 years ago! Now here the same darned thing happened with being told the same darned thing I was told in Chicago. EVERYONE OF YOU CAN BITE ME! Loss of 500,000 jobs is CRAP! That extra money needs to come out of those fat cats' pockets. WHY ISN'T ANYONE, Dem or Repub, doing anything about big business upper management teams taking that chunk. Case in point, 2010 or 2011, top dude at Walmart made $3,000,000 salary (I could live with that) but at the shareholders meeting we learned his bonus was $18,000,000. $21,000,000 for one darned year! ARE PEOPLE SERIOUS. What 1 person deserves to make all that money while all these people can't get work, can't keep their homes, live in cars with their kids if they even have a car.

    he Republican Party claims to be the party of "Christian" and "family" values but acts in a manner inconsistent with Christianity or family values as it seeks to dismantle the programs that protect those with the least to benefit those with the most.


    February 19, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Reply
    • litllebit

      I am republican, and I agree with you.

      February 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  6. Gary

    I'm not opposed to raising the minimum wage. What I'd like to see happen instead is for my elected officials to work together across the aisle to create and implement smart, savvy, measured policy that puts the U.S. first, and that focuses like a laser on doing the heavy lifting that it'll take to change in a way that incentivizes investment in U.S. commerce and jobs, that focuses on employing U.S. citizens first (over the hiring of immigrants),and doing the the things that communicates to businesses that they'll have a steady and friendly economic environment in which to conduct and expand business. There are loads of ideas out there that we can capitalize on to encourage growth in PRIVATE enterprise. Once we've done that and have the money from receipts flowing in we can increase infrastructure jobs – now in reality we should be doing both simultaneously. However, we have a presdient and Senate that would create do-nothing jobs as well as infrastructure jobs and count those as job growth. We need to focus on doing the things that increase our competitive advantage in the PRIVATE sector to create higher-paying, meaningful long-term employment. Why are both the Rs and the Ds not doing this?????

    February 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  7. countingdown

    Well duh!
    So! The government gives a 39% raise to a non skilled person.
    Don't you think the skilled people are going to be pissed and want a raise? What about the unions? You know they will be screaming like little wusses! Fewer jobs means less people doing the same work. Many companies won't be able to absorb the cost so their prices will rise or close. Meaning we all will pay, and for what? Answer: maintaining low information voting block. Sadly, it works

    A non skill person making $7.25 minimum wage gets a 39% raise to $10.10 translated to a $2.85 hr gain
    If a skilled person person making $15.00 gets a 39% raise to $20.85 translated $5.85 gain
    $5.85 – $2.85 = $3.00
    The non skilled person is actually behind even more after the raise.

    February 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Reply
    • litllebit

      let's not forget these companies are not going to take the loss. they will up the prices of goods AND cut back on the workers.

      February 20, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  8. pjoe

    Instead of making this an election issue, let's just index the minimum-wage to inflation and automatically adjust it every year.

    February 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • NonHyphenated

      Indexing wages to inflation is an important ingredient in the creation of hyperinflation.

      February 20, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
  9. Bob

    Here is the problem the republican are keeping covered up- and some democrats as well. These corporations are making huge profits- and I say good for them. But- they also acknowledge they don't pay enough to their workers to even live. Instead they – with the blessing from the politicians they bought and paid for, put together classes to teach their employees how to collect government assistance. Why the hell are we paying people to work at a fro profit company? Oh, that's right the conservative re[publicans.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • Mike


      February 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  10. willhaas

    In order to be fair to our domestic businesses the US should refuse to do business with countries that do not have a minimum wage structure similar to ours. To not do so is to support slave labor. Such countries include Mexico and China.

    February 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  11. jrt1098

    1) LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY give you 7% UNEMPLOYMENTS as the new norm !
    2) LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY have given us 6 TRILLION ... that's 6 TRILLION in new deficit spending ... and WHERE ARE THE JOBS ?
    3) LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY try to teach you that raising the minimum wage, which will only be passed on to the consumer through HIGHER PRICES and also result in major JOB LOSS(CBO report) ... all to create a political issue
    4) LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY attempt to take over 1/6th of the U.S. Economy, LIEB to you when they say "if you like your plan you can keep it" ... LIE to you to get it passed ... take 3 years to implement the LAW and then have such a disastorous roll out that it becomes a national EMBARRASSMENT !!!

    ... yeah ... let's elect more LIBERAL DEMOCRATS !!!

    February 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  12. Concerned

    Not only will this effect Jobs cost and management, but there will be a shift in the Medical insurance, more money less subsidies, more money for the insurance companies to rake in.

    February 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  13. ProtectAmericanJobs

    We can't just raise the minimum wage unless we start improving the overall business environment and employment picture.

    We have to fix the root of the problem first, which is that over the past several decades, all our leaders have been doing is screwing the American people, by stalling, spending, removing protections and allowing illegal aliens to continue to pour in and American jobs and industry to pour out, and all while collecting their American tax-payer funded pay checks, benefits and whatever else they get on the side from their various lobbyist friends.

    I've been running a business where we haven't been able to our raise prices or wages for several years, because of what our leaders have allowed to happen to our country. Most small to medium size businesses are just struggling to survive.

    Our real economic problems happened because, over the last 25-years, our government has allowed our country's industries to get sucked out to China, India, Mexico, etc and allowed illegal aliens and H-1B foreigners to come into our country and take away tax-paying Americans jobs and drive down prices and wages.

    I run a business with 20 employees, all of whom earn well more than minimum wage, but it isn't so easy. It's hard enough to stay in business and make any profit nowadays and take care of our hard working conscientious employees. I believe that our cross-trained employees are our company's most important asset.

    We have every little turn over in our company. But if I advertise one job opening (all of which are well over the minimum wage), I'd have dozens upon dozens of qualified people and some over qualified people clamoring for the job and almost all of them would be happy to come in for less than they were making, just to have a steady job. But these people and myself are just struggling to keep up with our mortgages, kids student loans, health-care coverage............etc..............

    The American people need our leaders to wake up and start putting some sensible measures in place to stem the tide or this is going to continue to have a devastating effect on the United States of America and the American people.

    We'd really all be better off by just cutting through the all the my team vs your team name calling nonsense and really focus on America and improving the future of the American people.

    February 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • NonHyphenated

      The best way for politicians to facilitate wealth creation and a rising standard of living in this country is to reduce what I call economic frictions. The government can be a positive force for the insuring the smooth functioning of free markets. The protection of property rights and enhancing the flow of information to both buyers and sellers are examples. When the government wades into markets and distorts them it is engaging in wealth destruction which has the ultimate effect of lowering our overall standard of living. Unfortunately, too many people in this country have not taken and passed an economics class in college or run a business and our public schools don’t really teach the subject and probably couldn’t be trusted to so, and as a result raising the minimum wage becomes the subject of serious discussion.

      February 20, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
  14. mike the frog

    Warning: republicans can't use debt ceiling to force-cut us into poverty anymore. Now they are scaring us into slave wages. We will lose our jobs if we dare raise minimum wage or vote for unions.

    February 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs

      If more people would have listened to Ross Perot back in 1992, America wouldn't be in this mess. The people with all of the excuses as to why we can’t, shouldn't or aren’t willing to manufacture products here in the US are the same people who have provided us with the thinking that’s gotten us into this mess in the first place.

      February 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs


      February 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • ProtectAmericanJobs

        Sorry about the all caps type.

        February 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
  15. Steve

    Does anyone realize that Pres. Obama makes 2-3x the money that is required to be part of the 1% wealthiest americans?
    While I cheer everyone who can lift themselves up, I think it is sad that many in Washington are denouncing the very group they are a part of. A veteran of the U.S. submarine navy, I am proud of my efforts to take care of my family and community.
    Let's remember that the American Dream is opportunity, not minimum wage or owning a home.
    There is national political trickery with everyone in DC...
    America, remember the values we grew up with.

    February 19, 2014 at 9:43 am | Reply
  16. pjoe

    Just give everyone a 30% raise. Then we can all pay 35% more for stuff. Then Social Security recipients can get a 3% COLA.

    February 19, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
  17. newby

    You could raise the minimum wage to $30 and it wouldnt fix the problem. The problem is a lack of jobs that are worth more than minimum wage. If a job doesnt take more than a basic 2-4 week training period to perform then the company can hire whoever has an IQ of 80 to work the job. We need more jobs that require a specific set of skills that make people worth more. Cant go to high school and come out not really caring about what it is youre going to be good at in life and expect to get paid well.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:53 am | Reply
  18. newby

    I dont see how jobs wont be lost. If a company has 300 workers and 50 of them make minimum wage that extra $3 per hour is going to cost them. Then they will either reduce their benefits the next year or fire a couple of them. Eventually the increased minimum wages will result in an increase in the workers' wages that are supposed to be above minimum wage and on up the ladder, then prices go up and we're right back where we started you will still be making minimum wage and unable to support a family on that wage because prices are higher. The market will always work that out.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:45 am | Reply
  19. Pete

    Raising the minimum wage sounds great until the cost of those salaries are passed on in higher prices for everything. Also, there are a lot of people out there that are not worth $5 an hour let alone $10.

    February 18, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  20. Hank

    It will cost jobs and it will also possibly create jobs. Low wage earners will most likely be the ones to lose their jobs and then have NOTHING, while the shift will turn towards higher productivity, higher wage workers. I read the whole 29page CBO report today. It covers a lot of what ifs and it's worth the read. The part about scale and substitution was something to chew on.

    February 18, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  21. James Kirk

    Cupp when was the last time you worked for minimum wage. If you ain't been there you have no write to speak on it. Where is you heart? Seems like you would have been on the other side in "12 Years A slave" - after all they/we were only worth being slaves. Don't give 'em any money - for what? They got free rent, food, clothing, & an ass wiping on Saturday followed by church on sunday. You outta be ashamed lady to do what you do just for the money. james kirk

    February 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • justin_time

      You should have better grammar and spelling if you wish to be taken seriously.

      February 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  22. Snydleywhip

    What a useless show. S.E. Cupp is an intolerable loudmouth who loves the sound of her own voice. She and the CBO do not understand basic economics or the economics of poverty. And this show does nothing to solve or shed light on issues. It is nothing more than a bully pulpit. Jon Stewart is still right.

    February 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply

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