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Has Democratic Control Been Good for Business?

The markets always seem to like gridlock in Washington. But has Democratic control of Congress actually been good for business?

Three experts discussed the minimum wage hike, prescription drug costs, and tax breaks for big oil from different ends of the spectrum on "Power Lunch."

Daniel Mitchell of the CATO Institute feels that gridlock is good because the Democrats, had they been able to fulfill their agenda, would have caused higher taxes and more business regulation.

"Thank god for gridlock. Let's hope they fight all year long and don't pass any legislation," Mitchell said.

However, John Berlau, Competitive Enterprise Institute Economic Policy Fellow, believes that same gridlock allowed the Democrats to handle some things, such as Sarbanes-Oxley relief, well.

Faiz Shakir of the Center for American Progress agreed, stating that the Democrats' hourly minimum wage hike from $5.15 to $7.25 was also handled well, as it will benefit middle class people, a notion disregarded by Mitchell.

The wage hike, price controls for prescription drug costs, and tax breaks for oil moguls are all things that weren't prevented by the gridlock, according to Mitchell.

"Why would we want to make ourselves more beholden to foreign oil producers, not to mention raising taxes, and giving the politicians in Washington more money to waste?" Mitchell said.

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  • Sue Herera is a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She is co-anchor of "Power Lunch."

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