Monday, June 06, 2016

Graves: Federal involvement in economy hurts workers, slows hiring

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

When the federal government - or someone elected to serve in it - promises something that sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Health insurance for everyone? Some have gained coverage over the last few years. And that’s a good thing. But for others, “universal healthcare” has meant cancelled plans, more expensive premiums, and slower care.

Free college? As we all know, nothing is free. Education is the basis of any strong, successful democracy, and we should all aim to make a college degree accessible to anyone who wants it. But giving the federal government more control over higher education is not the answer. It adds bureaucracy, reduces competition, and limits the incentive for universities to provide services efficiently and at a low cost. “Free” is not the answer.

Now, in his final months in office, President Obama is working to push through a rule that will make more American workers eligible for overtime. On the surface, this sounds like a good thing. And in a perfect world, it would be. But, as it always does, more government means more problems, and this rule will end up hurting the same people it claims to help.

The Obama Administration is working to impose a mandatory 50% wage increase for any individual making about $50,000 per year. This is a dramatic increase from the current $23,660 annual overtime cutoff.

The proposed rule will hurt individuals and industries across the country. Most notably, nonprofits, colleges, startups and tech companies would all be forced to scale back. And young Americans - the group with the highest unemployment rate - would feel the impact the hardest.

It will mean employers struggle to meet higher salary costs, forcing businesses to choose between hiring fewer workers or cutting hours for their current employees. And if the rule is implemented all at once, it could send ripples across the economy that will hurt everyone.

The House will meet this week to plan a course of action against the President’s latest federal overreach. I promise to fight for the belief that more federal involvement in the economy slows hiring, hurts workers, and lowers wages for everyone. And I will continue to push against a President who refuses to acknowledge that.

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