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.