Representing Louisville — Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District

The Minimum Wage Debate

The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor was one of the earliest promoters of the idea of a Labor Day to celebrate America’s labor movement in the 1880s.   Its leader and the majority of its members were Catholic at that time, and they both promoted the working class and acted as a labor union, yet rejected socialism.  Catholics have had a long tradition of supporting the working class and promoting a living wage.  As a Catholic, I hold to that tradition. 

As a physician, I was taught the importance of carefully evaluating the plan of treatment.  Though our intentions are good, those treatments often have unintended consequences.  To provide the best care, we must constantly weigh the risks vs. the benefits of any medicine or surgical procedure.

The same careful evaluation of political remedies is necessary because like in medicine, good intentions are not enough.  Too often what seems to be a good solution may have disastrous consequences down the road.  Take, for example, the subprime mortgage fiasco. The good intentions of those who wished to make it easier for people to become homeowners nearly collapsed our entire banking system. Similarly, raising the minimum wage is a simple solution to a complex problem, and it will have serious adverse consequences. If only it were so simple that we could just mandate every employer pay his employees more money and presto, the problem of poverty would be solved!  Little in life is that simple.

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Yarmuth Fact Check

Today, Mr. Yarmuth was on WHAS Great Day Live. Lets check some of the statements he made.

Minimum Wage

In support of his call for raising the minimum wage Mr. Yarmuth stated, “nationally, the purchasing power of the minimum wage today is 30% less than it was 40 years ago”. Checking the statement against data from the non-partisan Pew Research Center and the Department of Labor one can see that the inflation adjusted value of the minimum wage changes almost yearly based on changing economic conditions.

Since its inception in1938, the average and median inflation adjusted minimum wage was $7.09. That means the purchasing power of the minimum wage today ($7.25) is better than it has been on average since 1938.

Mr. Yarmuth selected the highest one-year inflation adjusted value of $10.34 that occurred in 1968 to get that number. Curious!

Equal Pay for Women

In support of his false claim of unequal pay for women, Yarmuth stated “right now a woman makes 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work”. This statement is entirely untrue!

Raw census data shows that the income of all women is 77% of the income for all men. This raw census data does not break down pay by the kind of job performed. In fact, when education level and specific jobs are studied, women earn the same as men for comparable work. Today more women are graduating from high school, college and medical school than men. Liberals like John Yarmuth further suggest that this non-difference is evidence of sex discrimination bias.

Shame on Congressman Yarmuth! Some people will do anything to get elected.


Courier-Journal Op-Ed: GOP and the West End

One Louisville

Recent efforts of the Republican Party at outreach into the West End of Louisville and the African-American community are meeting with resistance. While the Democrat Party has had a near monopoly with local African-American voters, many in that community are finding that their situation has steadily deteriorated in nearly every measure after decades of Democrat leadership. They are realizing that more government involvement is not the solution to their problems. Better education, jobs, and security in their person and homes are the road to independence and happiness...

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U.S. Territories Catch a Break From Obamacare

U.S. Territories Catch a Break From Obamacare



The Affordable Care Act is back in the news. Again. There’s been a change to the law from the top-down. Again.


Last week the Department of Health & Human Services decided to unburden the U.S. territories of several of the law’s requirements.


So residents in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are finally off the hook. No Obamacare for them. When will those of us on the continent get so lucky? Once again the Unaffordable Care Act looks like the law that anytime Health & Human Services doesn’t like something, they can just change it.


Sadly, it took a near total collapse in availability of medical insurance for the territories to get any relief. Individuals weren’t given any subsidies and no one was required to pay.


With confusion over the availability of subsidies in the majority of states, and a likely case before the Supreme Court on the matter soon, the collapse in the territories strikes close to home.  Already we’ve seen greater overcrowding of our emergency rooms and undercutting of charity services.

Congressman Yarmuth helped write this bill, and was a key player in its passage and the communication of its message. He claims to have read every word, and most certainly knew it wouldn’t turn out as promised. Remember the Great Lie? If you like your current plan and doctor you can keep them? Perhaps the President can even be forgiven some here. He most certainly did not read or write the bill, and perhaps misunderstood some of its 2700 pages. No such benefit of the doubt can be granted to John Yarmuth. He was elected as a public servant, a Representative of the people, and he lied to all of us for years, finally admitting the truth to Joe Arnold late last year.

John Yarmuth crafted the most destructive law in American history, and he perpetuated a blatant lie on the American people and every Louisvillian in order to see it through. This most egregious violation of the public trust cannot be forgotten, and it will not be forgiven.


Fighting Hunger

Yarmuth Votes NO on Fighting Hunger Incentive Act of 2014



Yesterday, Representative Yarmuth voted NO on a bill to extend expired provisions that provided a tax deduction for businesses to donate their food inventory to charitable organizations.  The bill easily passed with bipartisan support, including all of the Kentucky delegation with the exception of Yarmuth, and with the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Restaurant Association.

This deduction has existed since 1976 and only expired last year.  According to the American Farm Bureau, without the tax write-off, "it is cheaper in most cases for these types of businesses to throw their food away than it is to donate the food."


Tearing Down Walls

President Reagan knew how important it was to free all people to pursue opportunity, growth, and happiness. He knew that to do so meant to tear down the walls that separate us. 9th Street is the wall that has made us two cities, but no longer. We are spreading the message of opportunity, growth, and happiness to all the people of Louisville, and with faith and hard work, our wall, too, will fall.


VA Scandal - Another Broken Promise

President Obama promised our Veterans that he would cut red tape and waiting times at the VA Hospitals.  Now we find that up to 40 patients may have lost their lives because of sham waiting lists at many VA hospitals.  Despite good doctors and nurses, the bureaucracy of the VA prevented patients from getting timely appropriate care.  The institutionalized problems of the VA system are what you can expect under Obamacare when it is fully implemented.


Yarmuth Sides with IRS and Lois Lerner

Twice this past week Mr. Yarmuth had an opportunity to hold the IRS accountable for targeting political groups.  Yet he voted against holding Lois Lerner in Contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about her role in the IRS scandal and he voted against calling for a special council to investigate. 

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ObamaCare - Worth It or Not?

Now that the ObamaCare enrollment deadline has passed (or has not since the administration keeps moving the target), we can try to assess whether it was all worth it.  It would seem to me that the decisive factor in determining success for those who support ObamaCare would be the number of uninsured individuals who obtained insurance from the program, minus those who lost their insurance because of the law.  Remember, healthcare reform was pushed to remedy the supposed 30-40 million people without insurance.  So did ObamaCare fix the problem?  Was ObamaCare justified in disrupting the healthcare of this country, forcing people to participate and causing great sacrifice for the millions of people who already had coverage - increasing insurance premiums, increasing deductibles and out of pocket expenses, limiting access to care, doctors, hospitals and networks?  We haven't even seen the worse part of ObamaCare.  That will become evident after the November 2014 elections when the employer mandate kicks in.

The answer – we don’t know!  Once again those who developed the most expensive website in the history of the world without security or a backend, costing a half billion dollars, didn’t think to ask the question – “Were you covered by any health insurance during 2013?”


CBO – Obamacare a disincentive to work.

CBO – Obamacare a disincentive to work.  Yarmuth continues to try and defend the flawed law.

This week the Congressional Budget Office reported their updated predictions on the effects of Obamacare. 

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