Rep. Cantor: Let's Restore Hourly Wages Cut by Obamacare

House GOP
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/GettyHouse Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)
By House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, (R-Va.)

On 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.

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, nor those of or DailyFinance.

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Another milestone for the ACA, today 6 million now have signed up for the ACA.

March 27 2014 at 11:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Eric Kantor has an idea now? Hilarious. Part time jobs and temp workers have been the "wave of the future" for twenty years. Now it`s the fault of "Obamacare". Does anybody really take this Republican goober seriously?

March 27 2014 at 4:14 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Brian Wunderman

I am buying my workers minimum coverage and for 3 employees and their two spouses it will cost me less than 500 per month. While it may not be the best coverage in the world it is better than the non coverage they have had. Before Obama care I would never have been able to afford to do this. My employees are joining the other 5 million plus people who have signed up for coverage. Mind you I don't have to pay for my employees care but choose to do so , it is the right thing to do. Guess my story wont appear on Fox news any time soon . There are two paths in retail we can choose , the Costco version or the Walmart version. One pays a living wage, provides health care for their employees , and makes record profits. The other has 85% of their full time employees receiving some form of government assistance(cooperate welfare) and makes record profits. I know which business plan I will follow and where I will shop. Can you say the same?

March 27 2014 at 3:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


March 27 2014 at 2:39 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Blaming the ACA for everything is just plain nonsense. All I know is I've been buying my own health insurance for 20 years and the ACA has put an extra $300+ a month back in my pocket. That comes to an additional $3600 a year to spend on things that we wouldn't have. I replaced a dishwasher and refrigerator that I was going to nurse along. This is causing unemployment? I also have the security of knowing I don't face financial hardship if my pre-existing condition needs major treatment. I'm spending money now where I wasn't before. This is causing unemployment? Sorry Mr. Cantor but you're not fooling anyone.

March 27 2014 at 1:33 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to petroni912's comment

The next time you need to paint the inside of your home, call and I'll send over a crew from the IUPAT to get the job done.

March 27 2014 at 2:29 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The NFL pays not one dime in Federal income taxes. Hedge fund managers have their income capped at 15%. Millionaires can deduct mortgage interest and taxes from yachts, and the wealthy pay a capped income tax on "unearned income" like dividends and capital gains. And to add insult to injury they can deduct the price of their private jets for them and their family so they don't have to sit near you or I. How about executives going to dinner with other executives and deducting the bill from their income taxes. Or how about Jewish people allowed to deduct losses from the Nazi era (that ended 69 years ago) Need more ? There isn't enough space, but you get the idea. Oh, more thing,...Canter led the crusade to cut food stamp money to feed the poor and cut public housing funds for the homeless, while giving multimillionaire farmers a billion dollars NOT to grow crops. And their expected to win the house and senate in November. Christ, Kafka couldn't make this crap up.

March 27 2014 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

750,000 jobs a month lost under Bush, Cantor has a short memory. Why? The rich are doing great now.but nothing is dripping down

March 27 2014 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

He's working to get less for Middle Class and Low Income Americans and more for the 1%

March 27 2014 at 12:59 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Yea from his standpoint wages are ok being low, now he wants to cut access to Heath Care, Social Security and Medicare.

March 27 2014 at 12:57 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bgr200's comment
Gary Howard

You forgot food stamps and extended unemployment.

March 27 2014 at 1:07 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Because Cantor and the other Republicans are so fixated on keeping the 99% at that mark and the 1% richer, he could care less about minimum wage or health care. After all, he and his cohorts have been living off us minimum wagers since being elected. Their health care and wages will be covered by us poor folk because his rich friends will continue to dodge paying taxes, hide income and move well-paying jobs overseas. If he paid more attention to what the people want instead of continuing this hateful vindictive battle against anything the President tries to accomplish, he would realize that "Obamacare" is working.

March 27 2014 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fanet1's comment

Too bad the libs never listen. No one wants people to work at minimum wage forever whether 10 bucks or fifteen. This should be a starting point only. Use your brains. The minimum types can work their tail off and move up. Get it! You people want us all working at minimum wage. Then you would have income equality. Socialism is when everyone is equally miserable.

March 27 2014 at 1:13 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to crimeslawyer's comment

unfortunately, the heroic free market capatlist conservative patriots moved their manufacturing to socialist communist countries like China for cheap labor at less than minimum wage, and no enviornmental laws. and they still get tax breaks.................True Americans all.

March 27 2014 at 5:40 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down