Confirming what you knew, the minimum wage campaign is all about politics

Union leaders meeting in Houston reiterated the importance of the minimum wage to their 2014 political strategy. (The politics of the issue were explained last December in the New York Times.)

Gathered for their annual winter meeting, the nation’s labor leaders say that what they see as the best theme for reviving the union movement — American workers need a raise — also would be a winning issue for their Democratic allies in this fall’s elections.

“Raising wages for all workers is the issue of our time and, hopefully, will be the issue of this election,” Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president, said at a news briefing here on Wednesday.

In that context, the Congressional Budget Office estimate of 500,000 lost jobs comes as an inconvenient truth. Responding to critics, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf pushed back yesterday.

Wednesday morning, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf responded to the criticism saying “I want to be clear that our analysis on the effects of raising the minimum wage is completely consistent with the latest thinking in the economic profession.”

We made the same point here.