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About that minimum-wage EO
Hot Air ^ | January 17, 2014 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 01/17/2014 6:49:41 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Can Barack Obama raise the federal minimum wage by executive order? Reports this week have Obama promising Senate Democrats that he was looking into his options, but they would be limited … even more limited than he thinks, probably:

Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing for an across-the-board hike in the minimum hourly wage, from $7.25 to $10.10. But Republicans are cool to the plan, warning it could hurt the economy.

Federal contractors represent only a fraction of the nation’s employees. Businesses that together received more than $446 billion in federal contracts employ some 2 million workers, only some of whom are paid the minimum wage.

Still, an increase for that segment of the workforce could generate momentum toward a raise for all workers now paid the lowest amount allowable by law.

Proponents of the plan say Obama need not wait for Congress to pass legislation. Sanders and Boxer were among 15 senators who sent a letter to Obama in September, urging him to set a minimum-wage preference for private companies doing business with the federal government.

An executive order to that effect would be tantamount to setting a minimum wage for federal contractors, they said.

“Profitable corporations that receive lucrative contracts from the federal government should pay all of their workers a decent wage,” the lawmakers wrote.

Ace is skeptical:

At first blush, I thought it was possible this would be permissible (if not advisable) under our Constitutional scheme, given that he was directing the Executive itself to make these payments.

But despite that trying-to-be-fair impulse, I’d still like to see legal opinions on this. After all, the President will not be paying these wagesout of his own funds. The excess wages will, of course, be paid for by taxpayers, and absent an act of Congress raising the federal contractor minimum wage, this seems probably illegal.

As usual, of course.

Color me skeptical, too. One cannot write statutory law through EOs, which is what would have to happen to force companies with federal contracts to pay a certain wage or higher to all their workers. That takes Congress to act, and they’re not budging, which is why Obama is gabbing about “looking into” EOs. Even if he issued it, no company would be under any legal requirement to comply.

Obama could require the executive branch to write contracts with that requirement, though, without Congressional involvement. That can be done with an EO, although it probably wouldn’t require one. However, that requirement would force contractors to offer higher bids, forcing the executive branch to go back to Congress for more money, and would likely result in fewer jobs as contractors reduced costs. The same would be true for any attempt to force a higher floor for direct executive-branch jobs, too. Either way, Obama would have to go back to Congress for more funds.

I’d file this in the “cheap talk” category. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Update: Just to clarify my first point in light of some of the comments, EOs only apply to executive branch agencies and their direct employees, not to contractors or those working for contractors. The latter are bound by statute and the terms of the contract, and nothing more. Obama can pretend that he has the authority to order this in an EO, but contractors will simply ignore it — it can’t be enforced, and won’t be.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: democrats; gop; minimumwage; obama
Is this 1933 or 1934?
1 posted on 01/17/2014 6:49:42 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
EOs only apply to executive branch agencies and their direct employees...

Would an EO instructing agencies to only accept bids from companies paying a certain minimum wage be legal, or is are the conditions of bid governed entirely by statute?

Another thought--hardly anyone working on a Federal contract gets only minimum wage; however, I've heard that some prevailing wages (union rates) are calculated based on the existing minimum wage. Could this be a pay boost intended for higher-paid union members disguised as a populist minimum wage hike?

2 posted on 01/17/2014 6:52:51 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Because the unemployment rate isn’t high enough already.


3 posted on 01/17/2014 6:53:40 PM PST by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

10 bucks seems pretty low.
Make it 15.
C’mon Baraq, do it “for the children”


4 posted on 01/17/2014 6:55:36 PM PST by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

““Profitable corporations that receive lucrative contracts from the federal government should pay all of their workers a decent wage,” the lawmakers wrote.”

So in reality, this is just another “wealth transfer scheme” that “allows” the taxpayers to “subsidize” the wages of people who work for government contractors. The contractors ( under CPFF/CPIF Contracts) simply pass the increased wage (together with the increased “burden”) costs along to the government and thence to us, the taxpayers.


5 posted on 01/17/2014 7:16:05 PM PST by vette6387
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To: nascarnation

Make it 30.00 and all the libs can yell Yippie!


6 posted on 01/17/2014 7:30:02 PM PST by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/ ?s)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; John Semmens
Sanders and Boxer were among 15 senators who sent a letter to Obama in September. . . “Profitable corporations that receive lucrative contracts from the federal government should pay all of their workers a decent wage,” the lawmakers wrote.

Boy, these guys are economic geniuses. I had to look twice to be sure that this wasn't John's work.

7 posted on 01/17/2014 7:37:38 PM PST by Hardastarboard (The question of our age is whether a majority of Americans can and will vote us all into slavery.)
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To: eyedigress

Heck, why not make it $50? After all, the more money these people have, the more they’ll spend and that will get the economy going, right? Right?


8 posted on 01/17/2014 7:40:21 PM PST by EscapedDutch ("Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money" - Lady Margaret Thatcher)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He will continue until the gutless Congress stops him!


9 posted on 01/17/2014 7:46:14 PM PST by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Neither. It’s 1984.


10 posted on 01/17/2014 7:46:57 PM PST by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: Don Corleone

Two gangs are ignoring the people and the Cosntituion as they divide up the carcass of what used to be a Constitutional Republic. The gang names are democrips and republicants


11 posted on 01/17/2014 7:48:26 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

At least back then, we made stuff right here in America.

Just saying.

Now we import everything from China.


12 posted on 01/17/2014 7:48:44 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Only if your definition of “everything” is 2.5% of GDP.


13 posted on 01/17/2014 8:00:20 PM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Science is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It has always worked out so well in the past.

14 posted on 01/17/2014 8:11:55 PM PST by RC one
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He wants the LIVs to think, “the president REALLY cares about us, it ‘s those EEEEVIL Republicans who won’t pay us what we deserve.”


15 posted on 01/17/2014 8:51:45 PM PST by informavoracious (Open your eyes, people!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
RE: Proponents of the plan say Obama need not wait for Congress to pass legislation. Sanders and Boxer were among 15 senators who sent a letter to Obama in September, urging him to set a minimum-wage preference for private companies doing business with the federal government.
An executive order to that effect would be tantamount to setting a minimum wage for federal contractors, they said”

1) Definitely looks illegal
2) The employers/contractors would have standing to sue

16 posted on 01/17/2014 9:45:01 PM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Existing contracts have been bid at rates agreed by the government. Forcing a higher labor rate is a breach of
contract on the part of the government. The affected
parties can terminate for cause.


17 posted on 01/17/2014 9:55:05 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: EscapedDutch

It’s a bidding war! I say the minimum should be 500.00 an hour!

Let the Kenyan romp around the room!


18 posted on 01/17/2014 11:43:47 PM PST by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/ ?s)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The only reason the politicians want to raise the minimum wage is because it will provide more revenue via payroll and income tax.


19 posted on 01/18/2014 12:27:55 AM PST by SirFishalot
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"Is this 1933 or 1934?"

Almost 1936:


20 posted on 01/18/2014 12:29:14 AM PST by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: RC one
It's all part of the ILLEGAL ALIEN IN CHIEF's plan to "Collapse the System"


21 posted on 01/18/2014 12:46:11 AM PST by Yosemitest (It's Simple ! Fight, ... or Die !)
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To: EscapedDutch
Heck, why not make it $50? After all, the more money these people have, the more they’ll spend and that will get the economy going, right? Right?

Wrong. Because of Obamacare, it will need to be at least $70/hr to be a living wage at 29hrs per week.

22 posted on 01/18/2014 1:36:21 AM PST by D Rider (Don't give sharp objects to small children)
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To: Yosemitest

“Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, ... was quick to emphasize that her organization’s support of a more-than-twofold increase in the minimum wage was “not about growing unions.”

This is the key. I’ll most likely not present the most logical map to the endpoint but my theory is that this is one of the foundations of single payor. Down the road, as single payor replaces ObamaCare, all healthcare workers will become in essence government employees. Think about how many thousands of new, dues paying union members will magically become part of the SEIU. Barry had sealed this deal with Andy Stern years ago. Barry promised Andy and the SEIU thousands of new members, Andy says great, this is the wage structure we need so we can pay the slush fund. Gotta pay a living wage to all of the new union members so dues can be extracted and kickbacks to the dems can be made. It’s convoluted but what dem scheme isn’t, especially when large sums of cash are involved?


23 posted on 01/18/2014 3:09:14 AM PST by Artie (We are surrounded by MORONS)
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To: Yosemitest

and then there’s that. It’s never been clear how many union contracts are connected to the minimum wage but I’m sure it’s widespread. Being a union member is turning into a better investment than a college degree.


24 posted on 01/18/2014 3:42:25 AM PST by RC one
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To: Artie
I'll say this:
25 posted on 01/18/2014 11:48:43 AM PST by Yosemitest (It's Simple ! Fight, ... or Die !)
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To: RC one
But sooner or later, ALL SECRETS COME TO LIGHT,
and "WE THE PEOPLE" will eat them alive !
26 posted on 01/18/2014 11:51:13 AM PST by Yosemitest (It's Simple ! Fight, ... or Die !)
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