To the extent that we have a neutral arbiter, the CBO is it. And they just came down hard on President Obama's two major initiatives,
...By providing households with a transfer payment to purchase health insurance that phases out as labor market income grows, Obamacare discourages work—period. The subsidy shrinks with income. That means for every additional dollar you earn, you lose a bit of support from Obamacare.The White House and its allies have characterized this as a good thing, and as a free choice that households are making. This characterization insults basic economics reasoning. People electing to work less because the government has raised their marginal income tax rates is not quite an independent choice that deserves our congratulations. And since the health care subsidies are paid for by progressive taxes, this creates an awkward scenario where higher-income families are subsidizing the newfound leisure time of the less fortunate.
For the minimum wage, a similar finding
...The White House and its allies have been arguing that the minimum wage is basically a free lunch: There will be negligible job losses, and millions of workers will get a raise. The CBO rejected this talking point.To be fair, there is considerable debate among economists as to whether and how much an increase in the minimum wage will decrease employment. But my opinion is that the weight of the evidence points to a noticeable decrease in employment among low-skill workers. The CBO agrees, arguing that an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10, as the president is proposing, will likely cause hundreds of thousands of jobs to disappear relative to a world without the minimum wage increase.