Friday, August 1, 2014

Toomey BS Form Email Update: The Unnamed Second Report

You may recall that two weeks ago I wrote about a b.s. form email that I received from Senator Toomey's office.  In the email, two studies were referenced to support Sen. Toomey's claim that raising the minimum wage would be horrible for the economy.  The first study he cited was the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office study which stated that in the short term as many as 500,000 jobs could be lost.  Then, the email goes on to cite another study, the provenance of which is noticeably absent, which claims that Pennsylvania alone could lose 100,000 jobs.  Yes, those two numbers were put together and the effect is to not-so-subtly suggest that one fifth of the jobs that could maybe be lost (here again, in the short term) could be in Pennsylvania.  If that makes no sense at all to you, then we're on the same page and that's why I emailed the Senator's office to ask what the second study was called and who did it. 

Today, I got a phone call from the Senator's office and was told that the study was done by the NFIB (The National Federation of Independent Business), and it was titled, "Economic Impact Analysis of Three Proposed Changes to Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Laws: HB 1039, HB 1057, and SB 326."  So, for starters, let's please notice that the CBO study looked at a change in the federal minimum wage and that this study by the NFIB looks only at Pennsylvania and at proposed changes to Pennsylvania's minimum wage.  The bills in question would raise the minimum wage to a paltry $8.75 or $9.00 an hour (respectively, in the case of the House bills) and basically just add cost-of-living increases in the case of the Senate bill.  Of course, an interesting difference is that a proposed changed to Pennsylvania's minimum wage laws might result in businesses saying "hey, I can just move to another state where the minimum wage is lower", whereas if the federal minimum wage changes this is not at option.  I also love how the study notes that none of the PA bills address tipped minimum wage, but then goes on to assume that the tipped minimum wage would go up.  You know, the way that it's gone up in PA to a whopping $2.83/hr. 

Let's also notice that NFIB is most definitely not a non-partisan organization.  According to OpenSecrets.org, the NFIB donated over $400,000 during the 2014 election year (so far), and all but $5,000 of those dollars went to Republican committees or Republican candidates. 

No wonder Senator Toomey didn't note the provenance of his second study.  In any case, at least the Senator's office got back to me in less than a month.