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Obama’s Pen And Phone At Work Against Income Inequality, Changing Rules On Overtime Pay

Obama's Pen

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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.

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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.

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The New York Times, citing White House officials briefed on the announcement, reported that Obama would announce the rule changes on Thursday.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Acethepug

    Obamacare and the massive expansion to welfare programs isn’t ruining the economy fast enough, so the man who lacks the ability to even run a lemonade stand is winding up with the sledgehammer once more, in the hopes of shattering the US economy.

    Obama doesn’t understand that businesses have to make ends meet because he has never WORKED at a job where that was the case. He certainly doesn’t run the Federal Government that way, either.

    That’s the problem. He lacks even the rudimentary comprehension of income versus expenses. Unlike the Feds, I can’t just print more money at the end of the month. I pay my bills first, THEN any money left is mine to spend as I wish.

    • The biggest problem is that Obama thinks the government is the solution to every problem we have in America. Until he stops acting on that theory, he will continue to do things that do nothing but hurt the economy and the people he supposedly is trying to help.

  • HoosierHawker

    There is almost nothing that Obama stands for that I can agree with, however on this issue, I’m with him 1000% . Abuse of “Salaried Exempt” status is widespread, and an individual trying to challenge the status will lose their job immediately.
    Certainly there are those for whom the status is appropriate, executives who have incentive based compensation for example. Those who’s job responsibilities and performance don’t correlate in a direct way to the amount of time spent at work are another group who’s compensation shouldn’t be tied an hourly rate.
    In many many many cases however, the benefit an employer receives from an employee’s efforts have a direct relationship to the time the employee spends working. It should not be legal to exempt these employees from overtime compensation. The oldest trick in the book is to make to make an employee Salaried exempt from overtime, and then demand significant overtime.
    I have generally worked for responsible employers, who would categorize me as salaried non-exempt in my role as a manufacturing engineer. My present employer, on the other hand, is a real piece of work, I originally accepted the job as an hourly position. Soon upper management restricted any overtime to control expenses. Then I was forced to accept a salary, now they are requiring 12 hours per day minimum. My effective hourly rate is below what I started for, and is in fact less than non skilled hourly workers in the factory I work at.
    Republicans will screw up by making a knee jerk reaction on this issue – it’s a real problem.

    • I’m not saying there is not a problem with this. I am saying the President has no business getting involved and rewriting statutes. If we continue falling into the trap of thinking the government has to fix every problem that exists in America, where will we draw the line?

  • Obama has proven time and time again that it is irrelevant to him how much damage he does to businesses. This latest edict is nothing more than pandering to those who think the government should be doing something about ‘income inequality.’ It’s the Democrats main theme this year and this will probably not be the last time Mr. Pen and Phone does something like this.

    • You are likely correct. If I continue in this theme, writing about how Obama is using his pen and phone, I will have plenty of material to cover.

  • I missed this story. good find! Again we see Obama running around the Congress and yet the Congress is unwilling to fight back for fear of being portrayed as the bad guy. This will have unintended consequences on business owners and if they are forced to let people go because if it they will be painted as heartless, greedy capitalists. Obama cannot lose here and he knows it and is taking full advantage of it!

    • It would be heartening to see a Republican in a leadership position actually taking the plunge and talking about what Obama is doing. At this point, most of them act as if they are afraid of their own shadow.

  • Billiam

    Larry, nothing EVER touches the man. Why should he care. I know this will piss folks off, but it’s the truth. He gets away with it because he’s America’s first black President. He can do whatever he wants. Tell me a white President, especially a Republican, would get away with everything he’s done. Dang Disqus again!

    • Oh, how I wish what you say was not so true. I have always thought Bill Clinton was part duck because his political troubles seemed to just run right off his back. I think President Obama has him beat by a long shot.