Earlier this week, Assembly Speak Sheldon Silver released a report that he claims supports his call for increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation.  You can read the report at http://bit.ly/WrF68U.  As you would expect, we disagree with the findings in the report.

There were two main components to the Speaker Silver’s report that we find erroneous:

1) Raising the minimum wage will not lead to job loss.  Let us propose a real study that highlights why the Speaker is wrong.  In 2012, economists Richard Burkhauser of Cornell University, Joseph Sabia of San Diego State University and Benjamin Hansen of the University of Oregon examined what happened in New York between 2004 and 2006, when the state raised its minimum wage by $1.60 to $6.75 per hour. The result:  employment dropped by more than 20 percent for individuals aged 16 to 29 who lacked a high school diploma.  You can read that study at http://bit.ly/YA66CJ.  Enough said on that subject.

2) Minimum wage should be indexed to inflation.  In his report, the Speaker believes that minimum wage should increase annually to keep up with the growth of inflation and the natural increase in the cost of goods and services.  We are COMPLETELY opposed to that option.  Why?  One very good reason…TAXES.  What do I mean by that?  Consider:

1-The Speaker says gas goes up every year.  But do you know that New York already has the highest gas tax in the country?   You can see it here.  So instead of indexing the minimum wage, let’s cut taxes on gas.

2- The Speaker says that the cost of healthcare goes up every year.  But do you know that New York has more than $4 BILLION in taxes on health insurance?  Well, we do.  And you can see that here.  So instead of indexing the minimum wage, let’s cut some of those health insurance taxes.

3- The Speaker says that the cost of utilities goes up every year.  Again, do you know that roughly 25% of your monthly utility bill is taxes?  And did you know that there is a plan to extend a $500M utility tax for another 5 years?  You can read more at http://bit.ly/12qDCT8.  So instead of indexing the minimum wage, let’s cut some of those utility taxes.

The unfortunate reality is that Speaker Silver and those that are supporting the increase in the minimum wage fail to acknowledge that they are the reason people can’t make ends meet.  Instead of reducing taxes, eliminating burdensome regulations, and fixing outdated laws, they simply want to take the easy way out and raising the minimum wage.  They refuse to look in the mirror and admit they are the cause of many of the issues that plague New York.

Our problems can be fixed.  Our problems must get fixed.  But it will require courage from those that we elect to be our voice.  I Wonder if they will listen?  I wonder if they care.