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From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On Bush and the Minimum Wage

FRED BARNES: I thought the Democrats wanted to be bipartisan, why wouldn’t they give the president a little regulatory relief and tax relief for small businesses . . . wouldn’t it be automatic if they want to be bipartisan? Sounds like they want to shove it down his throat and he’ll sign it, which I think is a mistake . . .

I think whatever passes in any form, whether it has the relief or not, the president will probably sign it. I think that is a horrible mistake.

I think the market has a pretty good idea of what people ought to be paid — a better idea than the combined minds of Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush. And the truth is what this does is — it’s not going to affect many workers, most of them that work at the minimum wage, I think there are two million, and those are the second and third and fourth wage earners in a family for the most part, a lot of them are part-time, they’re teenagers, they’re college kids working, and so on..

What this will do will eliminate entry level jobs and a lot of them just won’t be there any more. Jobs filled particularly by people in minorities and so on you want to get up the job ladder and that’s where when you get on, at the bottom, and you work your way up. It’s just going to reduce the number of those jobs. It’s as simple as that.

NINA EASTON: [In] states that have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage, they have 7.50, eight bucks an hour, I do not see particularly high unemployment rates in those states, so that raises the question . . .

BARNES: But you don’t know about the jobs that weren’t created. Those aren’t counted, Nina.

EASTON: [O]n this question of whether the Democrats will go along with the small business provision . . . the new Democratic Party versus the old Democratic Party will somewhat play out here because there is a sense among a lot of centrists that want to ease small business burden. And you hear that not just on this but also on some of these capital regulations that are under consideration, as well. So, I think how the Democrats play on this will show how the Democrats are going to govern in the future, it’ll be an interesting debate to watch.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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