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Here’s how minimum-wage earners can save $125,000

Published: Sun, February 16, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Here’s how minimum-wage earners can save $125,000

Over the years, the scope and size of our government has expanded. Somewhere in the process of trying to form a more perfect society, our union has suffered.

With the burdens of a very large budget and an increasingly large debt, our government has become much less effective and efficient. When the economy slows down, the effects are magnified because of decreased revenue and increased obligations.

I feel we need a new approach. First we need to look at the programs that are working in a positive way. One of the better ones is the Individual Retirement Program. Another program of low cost and high potential outcome is health savings accounts. Although it’s current implementation has not become mainstream, shortfalls in the Affordable Care Act dictate action toward health care savings accounts.

Many people look for tactics such as minimum wage increases to counteract these shortfalls. The truth is minimum wage in its current form will never satisfy people for very long. In fact, the inflationary results often erase the increases.

I propose we lower the base rate to $6 per hour. In addition, we create a minimum contribution of $2 per hour to an IRA account and a health care savings account, thus creating an effective minimum wage of $10 per hour.

As an illustration of the effects of this planning, a minimum-wage earner will have accumulated roughly $125,000 in both their IRA and their HSA over a 30-year period. Keeping the money in the hands of the consumer makes it more effective and its use more efficient. The result should also make people far less dependent upon more costly federal programs.

Robert F. Mossman, Youngstown

Struggling to make house payment?SFlbSave the Dream Ohio can help you

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has committed $332 million, or 76 percent of the $570.4 million allocated through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, to prevent home foreclosures through Save the Dream Ohio. These funds have benefited 16,560 Ohio families — more than 5,000 of which reside in Mahoning and nearby counties.

Qualified homeowners are still eligible to receive up to $35,000 per household to:

Bring a delinquent mortgage current.

Pay monthly mortgage payments for up to 18 months.

Reduce the principal balance in connection with a loan modification.

Pay delinquent property taxes or association fees.

Transition out of homeownership through a short sale.

OHFA and its partners continue to work with Treasury to modify Save the Dream Ohio to meet the state’s changing needs and keep Ohio families in their homes. With approval by Treasury, OHFA recently redirected up to $60 million of the state’s uncommitted foreclosure prevention funds to reduce the number of vacant homes in Ohio.

The Neighborhood Initiative Program provides support to Ohio counties facing a glut of vacant, dilapidated houses that threaten our local communities by reducing home values and inviting crime. Working with local land banks, the program will reduce blight and build upon the success of Save the Dream Ohio.

Save the Dream Ohio is keeping families in their homes and preventing vacant housing in the future. Home- owners struggling to make their mortgage payments are urged to visit www.savethedream.ohio.gov to learn more about the program and complete a few simple questions to determine eligibility. Individuals can also call the toll-free Save the Dream Ohio hot line at 888-404-4674.

Cynthia Flaherty, Columbus

Flaherty is director of home ownership at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency..

Young people can’t afford ACA

Why aren’t young peo- ple signing up for ObamaCare? They can’t afford it.

My grandson has been working his way through college, along with his government loan. He recently married. His wife also works. They checked Obamacare, and the lowest premium was nearly $400 a month. This they cannot afford. I’m sure there are other young people in the same situation.

It’s a shame people have to pay a tax or fine for not having insurance. This should be changed.

I don’t understand how Congress could approve this health-care bill. Worst of all, the president signed it. Shame on all of them.

This used to be “Land of the Free.”

Alice Dyce, Austintown

Vindicator interview with mother proves dire need for Teddy’s Law

I In the article in The Vindi- cator of Feb 2, Teddy Foltz’s mother discusses her failure to protect him. It shows how forceful and abusive people can have such a negative effect on someone already having emotional problems, thus falling prey to people like Zaryl Bush.

It demonstrates even more the need for Teddy’s Law or a version of it to be enacted as soon as possible to ensure that this does not happen again.

We also must become more aggressive in making women aware that the help they need and a safe place to stay are at their finger tips. Friends, neighbors and family must also be willing to come forward and report suspicions to local authorities. There are more Teddy Foltzes out there that need rescued.

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township

Don’t allow outside frackers to ruin the great values of Valley

Hear Ye. Hear Ye. Got toxic waste? Dump it here! For years, God only knows what kind of garbage has been hauled into and dumped in our area, lest other states stink up their own neighborhoods.

So, we might as well let them haul in as much fracking waste as we can store. We can use the injection wells, even though they can cause earthquakes. And by the way, a 4.0 is just a baby quake out in California. That is more like a 5-something here because of the density of our bedrock. And when we run out of tanks for the brine, we’ll have the open pits dotting our landscape to fill with unknown chemicals. Nothing like a pretty “pond” or “lake” to gaze at.

I want jobs for the people who need them also, but at what cost are we willing to risk our future health and welfare and that of our children? According to a recent article, we already live in a section of the country that has the highest incidence of cancer.

What do we have left if our water source becomes contaminated? Nothing. Pipes, tanks, wells and waste pits are all susceptible to leaks; nothing much stays sealed forever. All the work done over many years to clean up the Mahoning River was reversed in an instant by an illegal dumping of brine. I also remember a dumping that was discovered on a road out in some nearby rural area. How many more have occurred that have gone undetected?

Apparently, outsiders don’t hold much worth for our Valley. I do. And I hope the voters in Youngstown do and that more of our representatives come forth and stand up for quality of life rather than quantity of money. Why, in God’s name, anyone would risk any one of the good qualities that identify this Valley and sustain its people is beyond me. We should fight to protect and preserve them.

Linda Green, Youngstown


1evio(43 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Then ask your grandson if he can live on 6 dollars pretty hour like Mossman proposes.

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2lajoci(595 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm trying to understand Mr. Mossman's reasoning and calculations, but I'm having trouble following the math.

$4/hr. @ 40hrs/week over 30 years at ZERO interest comes out to $230,000 (and change), never mind the assumption that someone making $6/hr for 30 years can afford anything other than a living-in-the bunkhouse lifestyle while saving the preposterous sum of $640/month!

Is this really, seriously the carrot you want to hang out there in front of our young folks?


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3rjwhit63(10 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Mr. Mossman suggests that instead of raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour the gov should reduce it to $6 an hour and invest the remaining $4 in IRA and health care accounts on behalf of these lowly people. He estimates that after 30 yrs these low life people would have $125,000 nest egg to live on for the rest of their lives. He feels that this plan would eventually reduce the drain on government resources. Is he serious? Based on a 40 hr week the annual income of such people would be $11,520. Net income would be $8,000 after taxes. Based on this fact such people will be dead or in jail before they hit the 30 year mark. Does Mr. Mossman really think that that min. wage earners will not be dependent on government at $6 an hour? His idea would would compound the problem as opposed to helping the situation. Let's start paying people a decent wage.

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4dontbeafool(1391 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

This coming from Eivo who doesn't work. If you do have a job, all you do is sit at work and troll on Vindy.

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5lajoci(595 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I am STILL waiting for Mr. Mossman (or anyone else, for that matter) to explain to me how even a single, unmarried person with no children lives on $12,480.00 a year (represented by $6/hr X 40 hrs x 52 weeks) and manages to stay out of a homeless shelter.

Come on!

I'm not talking about not working and collecting money from the Government, driving to the welfare office in a Cadillac, and buying beer and beefsteak with your food stamps!

I'm talking about Mr. Mossman's hypothetical working poor person, gainfully employed at the princely sum of $240.00 per week, or $12, 800.00 per annum.

Somebody tell me how to budget that income and survive!

And none of your half-baked, pop-psycho personality theories about what motivates people, please!

Or your pseudo-realistic pronouncements about socio-economic public policy and how it robs the poor of their initiative!

Come on! Let's hear some practical solutions for the $6/hour crowd! Let's see some realism for a change, and not Faux Noise agit-prop.

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6dontbeafool(1391 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Well Mr Mossman wasn't talking about someone making $13 an hour. He mentioned that nowhere in his article, so don't try to spin it! He was specific, $6 an hour with another $4 going into accounts. No way to confuse that.

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7SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

So Mossman's hypothetical employee contribute 4080 dollars to his HSA?
In order to have an HSA, the employee must have an insurance policy.
With a take home of 6/hr, I suspect that he can't afford a premium payment, but would probably be elgible for medicaid.
I suppose that stranger things have happened, but I can't visualize this employee turning down medicaid so he can pay into an HSA.

BTW, his 125,000 nest egg (in 2044) may give him just enough to buy a new Chevy.

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8billdog1(3254 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

SheDevil, single people or married people with no children do not get medicaid any longer. Many people on disability SSD (not SSI, SSDI, because they didn't contribute enough or at all to SS) are not eligible for medicare or medicaid because their income is to high.

Alice, this is the land of the free. Under your thinking the hospitals should be free to tell your grandson and his wife that they cannot provide any services because they have no ability to pay. I'm sure they have cell phones, cable tv, go out to eat, etc...So yes, I agree they should pay something for health care. If they don't then hospitals should have a right to demand their money prior to delivery of services. It isn't that most people cannot afford $200 a piece per month for health care. It's that a new car, furniture, xboxs, cable tv, $80-100/month cell phones, eating out, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc... are the priority. Nobody will die without the the things listed above, but somehow they are all more important than health insurance. This thinking will be the demise of our health care system. Doctors are already demanding that deductibles are paid upon entering the office, hospitals have just started. I know of three people in the last year that did not have life threatening issues, no health care, and no service at a local hospital once it was determined that they weren't in a life or death situation, sent home. If you think I should pay for somebody elses care because they choose a cell phone, cable tv, cigarettes and internet service over health care insurance, your crazy. I do pay for this via MY PREMIUMS and my service cost. I shouldn't have to pay because others have their priorities messed up.

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9SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't claim to be an expert on medicaid, so I visited the ohio.gov website for medicaid and followed up with a call to their office,

According to them, a single person (no children, unmarried) IS eligible for medicaid if they meet the income requirements.

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10billdog1(3254 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

She devil, the income requirement is under $11,000 gross per year. Which means about $900/month. So like I said, if a person is getting SSD most are not eligible because they make to much. Unlike SSI or SSDI are people that didn't pay enough into the system to eligible SSD.

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11SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

here's what you said in post 16:
"single people or married people with no children do not get medicaid any longer."

Rather emphatic and non-qualified statement, that is contradicted by the people who administer medicaid

Again, I'm not an expert, but I know enough to ask the right people, they tell me that the 2014 income ceiling for complete medicaid coverage for a single person is just over 16,000/year.

So it would appear that Mossman's hypothetical employee (if single) would qualify for medicaid, and I would expect him to apply.

Having medicaid coverage, he would have no need for a healthcare policy that is HSA enabled (provided that he could pay the premium). You cannot establish a HSA without the corresponding healthcare policy.

I'm just suggesting that parts of Mossman's plan are not feasible or practical.

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12billdog1(3254 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

That is nearly minimum wage. I'd like to see the people they give it to that make 7.79/hr at 40 hours per week. Look around and you will find people that make less, with no children that Human Services denies a medical card. I have no idea who you are calling but being a person that works at a mental health facility my clients are ineligible for medicaid assistance when they make over $11,000/year. Even them many are not eligible for anything buy assistance with their bill. Not necessarily paying an entire bill. Hospitals can make their own rules with their own funds, such as, HMHP does regularly. Those are funds donated to the church or hospital.

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13SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


The website I went to was for the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and Ohio Department of Medicaid. Who I called was CDJFS (local). I then made another call after you disputed to Columbus. I did not ask them about rules prior to 2014.

In any event, my intentions are not to argue this with you about it - whether or not Mossman's hypothetical employee can or can not get medicaid is not particularly pertinent. If he can, he certainly should apply. If he is turned down because he has a base pay of 6.00/hr - so be it.

Is it possible that the medicaid expansion under Obamacare has set a higher income threshold that your clients have yet to experience?

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14Sane1(24 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

So eivo you were only wrong by a factor of 2.6?

What a relief !

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15billdog1(3254 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Go to the website Health and Human Services dot gov. $11,490 for a single person is poverty. If a person makes at or above that they are NOT eligible for medicaid. They may get a sliding payscale at some agencies or facilities, but are NOT eligible for medicaid. Go talk to some people working at WalMart, KMart, Grocery stores, etc... who's wages are at these levels. They will tell you, regardless of what you claim to be hearing from the local ODJFS. Believe me these agencies that receive these funds are all over the ability to get any money they can. I'm not arguing with you, I'm state the facts. People are not getting services they need because they want to work, but are stuck in another doughnut hole that nobody wants to talk about. As more hospitals become like VHS we will have more people not receiving needed care as a result of the statuesque. What is generally called non life threatening health issues will become life threatening. Things like untreated hernias, nerve pain, migraines, fainting, etc... not getting treatment will cause more sever health problems later. Our country is moving backward, not forward due to greed, selfishness, and self-serving behaviors.

Sorry, I digress.

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16SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


So I went to the HHS website as you suggested. The 2014 FPL (Federal Poverty Level) is 11,670 (single).

I went to the Medicaid.gov website and found that the medicaid expansion increases the eligibility to 138% of the FPL and includes single persons aged 19-65.

138% of 11,670 is 16,100.

Those are facts. Perhaps you were thinking about 2013 and pre-expansion. In any event, you are mistaken.

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17SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


BTW, Thanks and best of wishes for you and your clients.

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18lajoci(595 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Says one writer: "To figure out the percentage of "Americans" earning the minimum wage, we turned to the U.S. Census Bureau, which estimated that the U.S. population in 2012 was 313,914,040. That would mean that minimum-wage workers accounted for just over 1 percent of Americans.""

Wow. So now we calculate minimum-wage workers as a % of ALL Americans?


This is why it is important to have SOME background in stats, or, at least, critical thinking skills, aptitudes that are honed on the college level, where one's prejudices, assumptions, and presuppositions are constantly challenged by trained academics. Of course, the "common sense" crowd eschews such rigor, and, thus, we have letter-writers calculating the absolute number of minimum-wage workers as a % of the general population.

Try using the 19-65 year-old group in your math.

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19HappyBob(285 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

bls.gov website Characteristics of workers 2012:

21.1% (854,000) of hourly workers paid at or below minimum wage are 16-19

12.1% (1,797,000) of hourly workers paid at or below minimum wage are 16-24

2.9% (1,753,000) of hourly workers paid at or below minimum wage are 25 or over.

Only 1 in 4 of the hourly workers that are paid at or below minimum wage are teenagers. (854,000 versus 3,550,000)

An increase in the minimum wage would make a difference to the lives of 3.5 million hourly workers.

Tell them they don't exist.

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2076Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Here is the link. http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012.htm

Minimum wage jobs are not intended to be your life's work. They give you experience and a stepping stone into the work world.

Teens earning min wage are not likely to be self supporting. Under 25 earning min wage may be subsidized by welfare benefits which would be reduced if their wages increase, providing a disincentive to work. Only 3% of workers over 25 earn minimum wage according to bls.gov.

The real focus should be on increasing middle income jobs where incomes have been eroding in recent years.

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21SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

3%....isn't that what Bob said above?

But in real people, 1.8 million workers could be helped with an increase in minimum wage.

eivo suggests that these workers don't even exist.

As an HR professional, perhaps you can answer this: Will creating more middle income jobs increase the income of the middle income worker?

As to the focus you suggest, do you think that Congress could multitask? (If they really wanted to)

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22Sensible(118 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"Under 25 earning min wage may be subsidized by welfare benefits which would be reduced if their wages increase..."

Reducing someone's welfare benefits because their wages increased; that's a bad thing because?????

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23Sensible(118 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


"Under 25 earning min wage may be subsidized by welfare benefits which would be reduced if their wages increase..." from your post 32

Question: Reducing someone's welfare benefits because their wages have increased; that's a bad thing because?????

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24Sensible(118 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I asked 76Ytown, not you.
By the majority of your comments you have shown yourself unable to engage in a logical, respectful, and thoughtful adult conversation.

Consequently, I just ignore your child-like outbursts and your fortune-telling. You invent facts and plagiarize.

Unless you are 76Ytown, let her answer for herself.

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25evio(43 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Me too.

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26SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

speak for yourself... "We all know that nobody's welfare benefits will be reduced..." WE don't know that at all.

Maybe you do, and if so, how do you know?

just more of your bs.

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27dontbeafool(1391 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

@eivo #2
You need to get your comment numbers up close to Eivo #1 so we really won't be able to tell who is who. So sit at work all day and post until you catch up!

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28dontbeafool(1391 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Very good eivo. How did you find that out? Nothing gets past you. It is half the number of yours.

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29SheDevil(120 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

OK Boys

The Vindy Narcissism award goes to eivo.

1128 posts over 128 days for a daily posting average of 8.8 posts per day

in a distant second place comes dontbeafool, who had a paltry 643 posts over 278 days for a daily posting average of 2.3.

Congratulations to eivo for the most digital diarrhea !

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30dontbeafool(1391 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Damn it, I try to call eivo on every bs comment he makes, but I just can't keep up. There is just too much bs to handle!

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31dontbeafool(1391 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Apply and get one.

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32evio(43 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

My day is already filled with posting nonsense on vindy.com

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33Jerryl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

At almost 9 posts a day YOU are calling SheDevil obsessive?

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34SansArmes(17 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

That tells a lot about you eivo.
You only see two types , your "common sense middle" posts and every one else is a "left wing extremist.

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35Sensible(118 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


"Under 25 earning min wage may be subsidized by welfare benefits which would be reduced if their wages increase..." from your post 32

Question: Reducing someone's welfare benefits because their wages have increased; that's a bad thing because?????

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3676Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Sensible: Welfare benefits are paid according to income. When income increases, welfare benefits decrease. If a person loses welfare benefits, because the minimum wage increased, it's a wash.

I wouldn't call it a good thing or a bad thing, I just don't see it as a benefit to increase the minimum wage. The greater benefit would be derived by creating middle income jobs. Middle income jobs provide opportunity for advancement up the ladder.

Per the bls.gov website: Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less.

I fondly recall my first job in high school. Yes, they nickeled and dimed me to death but sure felt good to be appreciated when I got a raise a raise. The money I earned was disposable income with the exception of car expenses as I lived at home and was still in school. Never intended to stay with that company for life. My next job opened up a whole new world of opportunity that I didn't know existed. Young kids today also will be working in jobs that haven't even been invented. Every little boy says they want to be a fireman or policeman, every little girl, a nurse or a teacher but as we know, we go through the "bumper car of life" and we never know what job we'll end up with.

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3776Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


The Congressional Budget Office studied this issue in a report released last year.[40] It found that a single parent with one child earning between $15,000 to $25,000 experiences almost no financial benefit from working additional hours or getting a raise.[41] What they gain in market income they lose in reduced benefits, leaving them no better off.

The academic literature concludes that low-income families financially benefit when the head of the household enters the labor force and takes a job that pays near the poverty level. However, additional hours of work – or higher wages – beyond that generally produce little additional net benefit until earnings exceed 150 to 200 percent of the poverty level.[42]

Unfortunately, minimum-wage workers with incomes below the poverty level fall into this earnings dead zone. A childless adult working full time for the minimum wage earns $15,080 a year, above the poverty level for one person ($11,490). That adult (or a teenager) qualifies for relatively few federal benefits. But a single parent working the same job would fall below the poverty level for either one ($15,510) or two ($19,530) children. That single parent qualifies for many means-tested federal benefits. If the federal minimum wage rose to $10.10 an hour ($21,008 a year for a full-time job) benefit reductions would claw back the majority of his or her raise.

Table 2 shows the effective marginal tax rates facing full-time workers in various family situations whose incomes rise from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. The figures come from the Urban Institute’s Net Income Change Calculator. Some columns show the effective tax rates when workers participate in all programs for which they are eligible. Others show the tax rate when workers only participate in food stamps and pay their taxes. Note that these figures understate the effective marginal tax rates because they exclude the loss of health care benefits like Medicaid and SCHIP. Even without including health benefits, workers lose at least 50 percent of their benefits and in some cases much more.

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38Sensible(118 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago


Thank you for your answer.

I know that you are concerned with controlling government costs, so was perplexed at your original comment that suggested that increasing the minimum wage would result in decreased welfare benefits, that that was not not a helpful thing.

Despite the other poster, you seem to agree that increasing wages would (at least on the individual level) reduce the benefits paid out by the welfare agencies.

And while it might be true that on balance the gross household income (welfare + earnings) could remain level after a raise, I would anticipate that most workers would gladly accept a raise regardless of the genesis of that raise.

Similarly, It never made any sense to me that my co-workers would turn down overtime for fear that it would increase their marginal tax rate. But some do/did.

I'll carefully consider the Heritage source. (keeping in mind that they also proposed the individual healthcare mandate)

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39Jerryl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

And why should you be concerned if the minimum wage comes to a vote?

Afraid it might pass?

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40Jerryl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Your post 62 only refers to Boehner.

Are you afraid that the house might pass a minimum wage bill?

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41Jerryl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Get real, Reid knew it wouldn't pass. Just not the votes to pass, so why waste the time.

On the other hand, the public seems to be supportive of a minimum wage proposal, many republicans have spoken in favor of a minimum wage proposal,.

The chance that a minimum wage deal would be adopted by the House is very real. That's what you and boehner are afraid of.

the most effective way to avoid passage is to prevent bringing it to a vote, which is your plea.

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42Jerryl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

You can "feel" whatever you like, but the practicality is that the House is still working on a "repeal and replace" legislation for Obamacare.

On the Senate side you will have to flip 6 Democrats and keep all the Republicans in line to get a simple majority.
That's a pretty heavy lift to ask the Senate to revert to Pre-ObamaCare days.

On the Minimum wage issue, there are already enough House Republicans that are "soft" on the TEA party line that would vote an increase in the minimum wage.

True, that until the votes are cast, it's not locked up. But the current indications are that the House is more likely to pass Min wage than the Senate would kill Obamacare.

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43Jerryl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Not what you said in post 62.

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44redgpgtp97(9 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Just go to work if you can get a job and don't eat too much, maybe become a vegetarian and grow your own food. Don't buy a car, not even a used one because you won't be able to afford the payment, let alone the insurance. Shop at all the Goodwill stores for you won't be able to afford to look at Walmart let alone shop there. And cancel ALL other activities like going out to the movies, dining out, attending sports events, etc...because well, you'll be working at minimum wage in order reach this goal.

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45eevo(51 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

There is a job wanted listing in the Vindy for a nuclear physicist that hasn't been filled for 3 months, but these freeloaders don't want it because all they want is a free handout. Plus the job starts at 8:00 am.

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