Less than 48 hours into the new year, Fox News' Jonah Goldberg resumed one of the network's favorite lines of attack: dismissing any action from President Obama and Democrats as merely an attempt to distract from Obamacare.
During a discussion of the 2014 midterm elections on the January 2 edition of Happening Now, Fox contributor Jonah Goldberg insisted that Obama and Democrats are focusing on "populist issues such as the minimum wage" in order "to get people talking about anything other than Obamacare."
In 2013 Fox News made a habit of claiming that just about any Democratic action was simply an effort to distract from the Affordable Care Act. In October of last year, Fox hosts and correspondents followed a Republican's lead to claim that an immigration speech by the president was intended to distract from the rollout of the health care reform law. In November, Fox figures decried the Senate's filibuster reform as a "politically timed" "distraction" from Obamacare. Shortly after, Fox News hosts characterized the historic U.S.-Iran deal on Iran's nuclear program as "yet another attempt to distract" from health care.
Contrary to Goldberg's dismissal, polls find that "populist issues" like raising the minimum wage are popular among Americans. A Pew study found that 71 percent of the public favors raising the minimum wage. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that two-thirds of Americans "support increasing the minimum wage, rejecting arguments that doing so could encourage layoffs." Studies show that show that minimum wage increases have little to no effect on jobs, and the Economic Policy Institute predicted that a nationwide minimum wage increase could "give the economy a boost."