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Cantor: 'Let's restore wages cut by Obamacare'

The second-ranking Republican in the US House says the minimum wage doesn't need to be raised -- it's the Affordable Care Act that's hurting workers' wages.

By Mar 27, 2014 11:00AM

This post comes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at partner site on MSN MoneyOn Jan. 31, a fry cook asked President Obama why his hours were being cut to part time because of Obamacare, and the President responded by saying he was pushing to raise the minimum wage.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va © J. Scott Applewhite/AP
This moment between the fry cook and the president reveals the entire reasoning of the Democratic Party’s push to raise the minimum wage. Rather than restore wages and hours lost by working middle-class Americans due to Obamacare, Democrats are hiding these losses behind a false debate about the minimum wage.

Just look at the math. In 2013, President Obama supported a $9 minimum wage. This year, he proposed a $10.10 minimum wage, which at the federal level turns out to be an increase roughly equal to the amount of wages a minimum wage employee would lose if they had their hours cut by 25 percent, as is happening under one provision of Obamacare. Coincidence?

Here’s how Obamacare creates those wage cuts

Under the law, an employer is required to offer government-mandated health care plans to full-time employees if they have 50 or more employees. The law then goes on to define a full-time employee as someone working 30 hours or more per week.

This added regulation makes it prohibitively expensive for many employers to keep all their employees working more than 29 hours, so hours are reduced, no new hires are made, and often jobs are simply cut.

Many school districts near my hometown of Richmond, Va., are already implementing policies limiting part-time workers to less than 30 hours as a direct result. The added costs of government-mandated health care will strain their budgets and probably cause even more Obamacare-related job losses.

A substitute teacher, Amy Harbert, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “The people that it's going to affect are the people that need or want to work every single day.”

Another substitute teacher, Norman Sulser told the paper: “Effectively, you've been laid off a day and a half. It's another impact (of the law) that people didn't see coming.”

In 21 states, the minimum wage is already higher than the federal minimum of $7.25. A substitute teacher in Washington state, for example, where the minimum wage is $9.32, could lose as much as $102.52 a week because of Obamacare.

These wage cuts aren’t fair to the fry cooks and substitute teachers who didn’t see this coming and don’t deserve to lose hard-earned money in their pocket.

The President is attempting to distract people from these wage cuts by proposing a minimum wage increase, but that would only make matters worse. The CBO found that about 500,000 jobs would be lost under the President’s proposal. One survey by staffing company Express Employment Professionals found that 54 percent of minimum wage employers would reduce hiring and 38 percent would lay off employees if the President’s proposals were adopted. Several more surveys and polls found similar findings.

So in response to lost jobs, hours and wages due to Obamacare, President Obama is proposing cutting more hours, and more jobs. The madness has to stop.

America is not working when Washington is creating incentives for businesses to cut back the hours and reduce the wages of hardworking Americans. America is not working when Democratic policies, like Obamacare, encourage people to be fired rather than hired.

An America that works encourages job growth and encourages employers to offer more hours to its employees. An America that works gets Washington out of the way so middle-class Americans can experience higher wages, more hours, more opportunity and greater prosperity.

In 2009, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) famously said of Obamacare: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Now that Americans are experiencing first-hand what was in the bill, Democrats are doing anything they can to push these policies back under the rug until after the next Election Day.

It won’t work. All of the delays, all of the distractions and all of the political games cannot hide the devastating effects of Obamacare. And meanwhile, the victims of these Democratic tactics are the American people who deserve better. Democrats know the law they drafted is hurting people. Rather than hide the problem, let’s solve it.

Next week in the U.S. House of Representatives, we will vote to restore wages and hours by up to 25 percent for Americans impacted by Obamacare. Let’s put the politics aside for once, and do what is right for the American people.

This story is an Op/Ed contribution to and does not necessarily represent the views of the company or its affiliates.

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Mar 27, 2014 2:35PM

There is more to the cost of hiring a worker than their wage.


The more the administrative costs of having an employee go up, the less available to pay the worker.  No worker is worth more than the value they add to their company.  You can not argue that fact, even though I am sure there are some that will try.

Mar 27, 2014 3:00PM
Companies love oh berry. He got them off the hook. Yep now if you work you get to pay for your own healthcare plus part of someone elses who either can't or won't work. This is nothing more than a gigantic redistribution of wealth to hush the have nots and buy votes.
Mar 27, 2014 2:00PM
Well then, what the hell is wrong with getting basic health care off the companies and governments  and get it into the true open market. We would not even have to listen to these fool Washington Congressmen.  Workers need workmans comp and short term disability and an option to buy LTD. That is it.   Companies do not want to have all this extra overhead. Basic healthcare should be sold like car insurance is and maybe we could get it down to a more reasonable monthly cost.  Get rid of Cobra too. We cannot do things the way we used to. We have all these gov. pensions  that could be handled another way too. VA should be only for those that have been in a war zone. All citizens should be able to have basic healthcare in this country and if you want more buy a supplemental. How hard is that?
Mar 27, 2014 11:32AM
This is the best written article I have seen that honestly details what government mandated health care policies are doing to the free market place.  Well intentioned plans that are not thought through for their merit instead of political gain are much better for the voting public of the US.  Get it fixed.
Mar 27, 2014 1:50PM
Obamacare will end up costing the average American more, the President's repeated promises to the contrary aside. To deflect attention to this fact, Obama and the Democrats have tossed a few smoke grenades out to the American people. One of them is the minimum wage, another the "income inequality" issue. Both are part of their ultimate goal; the "transformation of America" into a dependent, socialist state. 
Mar 27, 2014 3:53PM

The whole United States infrastructure is in peril.


I just received my yearly homeowners insurance premium in the mail...guess what?  Since 2009, the rate has doubled.  So has food, sundries, gas, etc. The only thing that is not going up is our wages.  We work harder for less money (I forgot to tell you I had to take a pay cut to keep my job in 2009).


The political bureaucrats, large corporations and Wall Street are strangling us...

Mar 27, 2014 2:34PM
Obama just wants to take a simple lazy approach to business matters rather than concentrate on curing flaws in his system.  To him it's easier to just transfer touchdowns from one side of the scoreboard to the other - that way we would never know that the Broncos played so Obamac in the super bowl.

Obamac will be in Webster's in a few years as our prez' main legacy - meaning disastrous, horrible, disgusting, outmatched......

And really, what do you mean "couldn't see this coming."  I know a zillion people that all foresaw this type of result - a virtual automatic reflex business response in the class of a "no brainer" - no pun intended, but certainly appropriate for Obama.
Mar 27, 2014 1:25PM
Since you want to talk about honesty!

Obo’s Lies

“I ended the war in Iraq” WRONG – Blame Bush, he negotiated the pullout of troops before he left office. Obo was negotiating to keep them there longer, but Iraq said,” No.”

“I saved to auto industry” WRONG – The industry would have gone through an orderly bankruptcy but now instead the U.S. government lost billions buying the company for the unions. You call that saving the industry?

“I’m a black man” WRONG – You are a Negro Caucasian. You are 50% white, 36.5% Arabic and 13.5% black African. Read your own book.

“The majority of people voted for me” WRONG – The majority of Americans did not vote, which means the majority wanted Romney or none of the above.

“The sequester was the Republicans fault” WRONG – It was your idea and is needed because you don’t have the intelligence or guts to do your job and make targeted across the board cuts that will benefit all citizens.

Mar 27, 2014 4:01PM
More demand for workers will drive wages up.  So there's a very simple way to increase wages - CREATE MORE JOBS!  Unfortunately for America, every idea/scheme/plan that's come out of the current administration over the last 5 years has had the opposite affect.  
Mar 27, 2014 4:38PM
Central planning never works. How can all of these Ivey league MBA's and PhDs from Harvard forget their basic economic history lessons. Each mandated " fix" precipitates another mandated " fix" until it finally collapses in on itself. The only Ivey these idiots studied was Poison Ivey and now we all have a rash.
Mar 27, 2014 4:25PM

Another substitute teacher, Norman Sulser told the paper: “Effectively, you've been laid off a day and a half. It's another impact (of the law) that people didn't see coming.”

Ummm, go back an re-read the conservatives critiques of the ACA while it was being debated.  The reduction in hours was clearly identified to be a likely "side effect" of the law.  You can't legislate to make business make bad financial decisions.

Mar 27, 2014 2:06PM

Many of you that are commenting on social programs or gov. handouts, are the very ones that get some type of payout from the gov. via just another teat. Are you on the left teat or the right teat?
Mar 27, 2014 4:14PM
The very first paragraph sums up Obama and his ilk exactly. HOW, after reading/hearing Obama's reply to the gentleman's question, can anyone honestly believe Obama has ever had any intention of do anything OTHER than tear this country and its citizens down...?????????????
Mar 27, 2014 2:37PM
So I guess in Cantors world its cheaper to have poverty level wages that allow millions of workers to get medicare and welfare payments rather than just earning enough from there employer? If we live in a country where all our businesses refuse to pay their employees a decent wage while they reap huge profits we are in huge trouble
Mar 27, 2014 4:02PM
restore wages cut by outsourcing. these gop crooks outsource to countrys that hate us. but its a quick buck for wall street.if anything goes wrong. the  very peoples who lost their jobs to these countrys will be getting shot in these countrys. the 1 percent call this a win win.look at what happened with Vietnam. one day were bombing them into the stoneage and haveing our poor people killed for truth and justice.the next day wall street is setting up a factory and taking the jobs from the poor familys that gave their lives for wall street.face it wall street runs this country and the gop
Mar 27, 2014 5:49PM
Mr. Cantor, don't pretend you care about the fry cook and other low income workers.
Mar 27, 2014 5:51PM
Our President is a Socialist.  Bring everyone down to be "equal". 
Mar 27, 2014 4:48PM
Just playing to the audience. Move along nothing here.
Mar 27, 2014 2:53PM
Would oh berry and his stooges lower themselves to this level. Only if the week still has seven days left in it.
Mar 27, 2014 10:27PM
Or we could insure people are paid enough to afford food, health care, able to save for retirement....
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