It sometimes seems like hyperbole to accuse Democrats of not caring about destroying small businesses with their policies. Then again, maybe it isn’t.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) admitted that even if an increased $15 an hour minimum wage killed small businesses, it would be justified since they shouldn’t be “paying people low wages” to stay afloat in the first place, The Blaze reported. Democrats have proposed the wage hike as part of their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill.
Khanna was asked about whether now is the right time to tinker with the minimum wage as many companies are cash-strapped due to the coronavirus lockdowns and ensuing economic downturn. Khanna, citing large employers that have already implemented the increase like Amazon and Target, insisted that there was a negligible negative impact, even proposing the change can “create jobs by paying people more so they’re spending it more.”
When pressed about the effect on small businesses, Khanna made his shocking admission that underscores the problem with Democratic politicians’ philosphy. “We don’t want low-wage businesses. I think most successful small businesses can pay a fair wage,” Khanna told CNN’s “Inside Politics” host Abby Phillip Sunday.
“I love small businesses,” he later continued. “I’m all for it. But I don’t want small businesses that are underpaying employees,” he said. “It’s fair for people to make what they’re producing and I think $15 is very reasonable in this country,” Khanna insisted.
Khanna apparently hasn’t done his homework. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has already found in a 2019 study on the $15 per hour minimum wage that it would cost 1.3 million workers their jobs even as it increased pay for others. Even President Donald Trump warned about it during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Still, this proposal is repeatedly recycled with the promise of helping those lower-wage workers while the reality would likely be much different. For instance, the overall cost of goods and services could rise as employers’ overhead expenses increase, effectively erasing any gain in wages. It may also force larger employers to outsource more jobs overseas to control labor costs.
However, the real cost is to the small businesses that Khanna so cavalierly accused of underpaying their employees. Mom and pop shops can’t absorb the added expense as readily as larger businesses, and instead may be forced to fire workers or simply close their doors. After enduring endless lockdowns imposed by politicians from on high, this could be the death blow to many of those businesses already struggling — but clearly, Khanna doesn’t care.