The Other Side of the Ledger

This is the side of the ledger the No On R folks like Treasurer and sudden minimum wage increase (just not this one) supporter John Fullerton will not address.  One would think that conservatives should be in favor of measures to insure the free market does not allow workers willing to work hard have to also depend on public assistance.  This is the conservative that we are missing – the conservative from the Party of Lincoln.

So here are the numbers.  These numbers are based on basic calculations of gross wages and publicly available public assistance eligibility tables.*  Please don’t use these other than guidelines as each families’ budget determining eligibility will differ.  I’ve made simple calculations for income for different households working differing number of hours.  The table is sorted by number of people in family, then number of hours wage earners work.  For simplification both wage earners work the same number of hours and max at two wage earners as the other one or two members are assumed to be children.

I then added lines for 24, 33, and 40 hours – the average number of hours it seems local businesses, for whatever reason, seem to want their employees to work.  Then I also added lines for the current minimum wage ($9, not $8 Mr. Fullerton) and the $12 minimum wage your “YES!” vote will garner for Eureka’s employees on Tuesday.  Legend:  The yellowish color represents families/income levels that would be eligible to both Medi-Cal and CalFresh.  The green (ish) color are the family/income levels that would be eligible to only CalFresh.  Caveats – outside Medi-Cal which is complete public assistance for health insurance costs – the tax-credit benefit is not included in this graph – also – I used 50 weeks to multiply weekly earnings instead of 52 assuming employers will find ways not to pay for vacations or sick days – especially for the newer or <40 hr employees.


One of the things I take away from this table is in all cases – 40 hours worked by both parents (or a single person) at $12 will put that family on the outside looking in at public assistance.  This is not to say they would not be eligible as each family will be different, but it would go a long way to help them use their own resources for food and health care.

Conservatives should be for a $12 minimum wage if they truly believe in individual responsibility.

The truth is of course, they don’t.  They don’t care if the game is rigged even against those who do put in a full days work for the job creators.  They simply do not want to foot the bill for a social safety net our society has created to ward off the worst excesses of the free market.

This is why Don Smullin of the Chamber of Commerce nor John Fullerton can answer this question.

“Why should tax payers pay for business’ costs such paying a wage that will cover everything including food and medical insurance?”

Full Disclosure:

I am an eligibility worker and half to walk a fine line here.  I obviously gain a large measure of expertise in understanding these numbers from my job – knowing what to look for, but all these numbers are publicly available.  The opinions here, obviously are my own and have nothing to do with my employer, the DHHS, or their policies.)


CalFresh eligibility gross income test.

Income based Medi-Cal eligibility (known as MAGI Medi-cal – Modified Adjusted Gross Income).  And a chart to determine 138% of FPL.


7 thoughts on “The Other Side of the Ledger

  1. Mary Ella Anderson says:

    I’ll add a couple of factoids: about 39% of the workforce earns less than $10,000 a year. More than 50% earn less than $30,000. It’s clear that the campaign to demonize welfare recipients that began under Reagan has been very successful. The campaign to make everyone aware of corporate welfare, especially subsidizing those corporations that deny decent and benefits to their employees, has not been successful.

    1. Thanks Mary Ella. Corporate welfare is something we can address only when the Republicans come back to earth. Nationally we are currently screwed with the obstructionist R’s.

      My hope is – we can take back local governments and slowly turn the tide nationally.

      I think this is possible as the cracks in the Right’s rhetoric become more and more visible (sadly).

  2. One more note. We know the No On R folks are not shy to use civic activist Charlie Bean in an ad supporting the job creators – Charlie, of course representing seniors and disabled. The latest ad against R I just heard for the first time on KINS this am uses a 14 y/o girl to narrate their story. Funny that. I fail to see if this is such a big deal to the job creators, why they themselves cannot narrate their own advocacy. There is some conservative logic to using Charlie as a spokes person as their intent is to instill fear onto those on a fixed income. But to use a 14 y/o – a demographic which would unquestionably benefit on the whole from this measure as it increases the earned wages to working families is disingenuous at best.

    1. MOLA42 says:

      I’m having a hard time remembering a campaign so noxious that the supporters refused to identify themselves. I mean, if they can’t even be associated with their own viewpoint… that they have to run “fronts” to do their talking for them… well, it can’t be good.

      I think each voter should decide and vote on the merits of an issue as each sees fit. But the average voter will never see the merits of voting “No” on Measure R… they’ll only see the “scare”.

      For many people it’s never a matter of if an idea is a good one or a bad one. It’s who pays and who benefits. This is why Public Welfare is also Corporate Welfare… the taxpayer pays for the benefit packages of Walmart, McDonald’s, etc. through Public Assistance (Welfare). And how many of the One Percent are taxpayers? How many of Humboldt’s upper crust pays as much of the percentage of their earnings in taxes as the rest of us?

      But to actually have to pay an employee out of the profits of the business… that’s Socialism (somehow… I haven’t figured that out yet).

      If everybody pays and business benefits… it’s Capitalism. If Business pays it’s own way then… it’s Socialism (See? It just sounds wacky).

      The State subsidizes Business by making it possible for their employees to survive on what they pay their employees; through welfare. Welfare has as much to do with the business economy as it has ever had to do with providing a safety net for the poor.

      Business’ contempt for Government never ceases to amaze me… it’s Government (including the Social Welfare Programs) that keep many businesses afloat… and many more prosperous.

  3. NoOne says:

    . . .demonize welfare recipients that began under Reagan . .

    Among those ‘Reagan Era’ stats: public benefits paid around 87% of the FPL, minimum wage < 78%. Conservatives were *paying* people to stay on welfare.

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