I’m thinking President Obama needs to make sure he has plenty of refills for his ink pen. At the rate he is going, he’s going to need them. Even before he announced his ownership of a pen and phone and his intention of using them to go around Congress, he had already been in action. Since that announcement, he seems to have doubled down on the issues he wants to act on. How many changes has he made to ObamaCare by now? Although he claims he doesn’t have the authority to change the March 31st deadline, he has made plenty of other changes. I wrote yesterday about the changes he has made to immigration enforcement, which are multiple. He is now moving to income inequality, another of his hot-bed issues. He will be announcing new regulations on Thursday that will change the threshold for mandatory overtime pay for salaried employees from $455 per week to a level that has not been disclosed.
Fox News – President Obama will reportedly use his executive authority to order the Labor Department to change its rules this week to require overtime pay for millions of workers currently classified as “executive or professional” employees.
The New York Times, citing White House officials briefed on the announcement, reported that Obama would announce the rule changes on Thursday.
The new regulations to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act would mandate that businesses provide overtime pay for those who work jobs as varied as fast-food restaurant manager, loan officer, and computer technician. Currently, businesses are prohibited from denying overtime to a salaried worker making less than $455 per week. The rules that President Obama is proposing would increase that salary threshold, though it was not clear by how much.
The new rules will be open to public comment, which may result in changes being made before they go into effect. How businesses will react is not known, but can be surmised. If the new rules are implemented, there is one thing we know will happen. Businesses will suddenly be faced with higher employment costs. Unfortunately for businesses, their pens do not work the same way Obama’s pen works. They can’t just wave a magic wand and absorb those higher costs, especially if they are on a long-term basis. They will have to either raise their prices to counteract the higher costs of paying their employees, or they will have to cut back in some areas to do the same. The most likely area to be cut back is in the cost of their employees. That means jobs will almost certainly be lost.
It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but regardless of what the President likes to think, his pen and phone can’t change these facts. Businesses have to make ends meet. Income inequality doesn’t enter into the equation for them. They have a service to provide for their customers and they have to make a profit while they are doing so. If they do not do those two things, it will not matter if income is equal or not. It will be a moot point, as jobs will be lost and more people will be unemployed. How’s that for income inequality?
I’m not holding my breath about this, but Mr. Obama needs to understand something. The actions he takes with his pen and his phone have real-life consequences. He can and will cause jobs to be lost because he refuses to see those consequences and continues to act on his own. Someone needs to steal his pen and drop his phone in the toilet before he uses them for something we can’t recover from.