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Power Lunch

Is The Beltway Bashing Business? Two Views


As the Democrats cement their control of the Legislative branch, their actions in the first 100 hours in power are being scrutinized by business watchers.

Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation, feels “a bit of a chill” from what he’s seen so far. He told “Power Lunch” that he believes the Democrats are using taxation for political gain – and not “good policy” that will drive American prosperity.

Biz & the 100 Hours

He opines that moves like upping the minimum wage – vociferously backed by new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her colleagues during the 2006 midterm elections – will merely lower the revenue base of big and small businesses alike, inevitably hurting those in the lower-income brackets.

But Democratic strategist Julian Epstein maintains the facts are not so cut-and-dried. He told CNBC’s Bill Griffeth that there is an “enormous body of empirical data” suggesting that hiking the minimum wage is actually healthy for retail. He concedes that the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t like the new legal provisions that require negotiating with the federal government. But the strategist also pointed to green-industry tax breaks as a boon to environmental-technology businesses -- like General Electric, parent of CNBC.