Congressional Republicans have vowed to block any bill raising the minimum wage, but a new Gallup poll shows that 76% of Americans and 58% of Republicans supporting increasing the minimum wage.
The Gallup poll found that support for raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour has jumped from 71% in March to 76% today. Sixty nine percent of those polled support a minimum wage that increases as inflation goes up. 91% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 58% of Republicans support increasing the minimum wage. Democrats (92%) and Independents (71%) strongly support linking the minimum wage to inflation. Fifty six percent of Republicans oppose making the minimum wage inflation proof.
While the American people want a higher minimum wage, Republicans in Congress support getting rid of all minimum wage laws. In an interview with CBS, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said, “I support people making more than $9. I want people to make as much as they can. I don’t think a minimum wage law works. We all support — I certainly do — having more taxpayers, meaning more people who are employed. And I want people to make a lot more than $9 — $9 is not enough. The problem is you can’t do that by mandating it in the minimum wage laws. Minimum wage laws have never worked in terms of having the middle class attain more prosperity.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner likes to make the false argument that raising the minimum wage kills jobs, “When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) echoed Boehner’s bogus argument that raising the minimum wage kills jobs, “It’s not a question of whether (the federal government) can or cannot. I think that’s decided. I think the question you have to ask is whether or not when you set the minimum wage it may cause unemployment. The least skilled people in our society have more trouble getting work the higher you make the minimum wage.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) admitted to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that he wants to abolish the minimum wage. Elected Republicans are moving in the opposite direction from the rest of the country. They are even out of step with a majority of their own party on the minimum wage.
Democrats are planning on using the minimum wage issue to help candidates around the country in 2014. The minimum wage is a powerful issue that brings out voters who otherwise might stay home and skip a midterm election. `
Republicans are in big trouble on the minimum wage. The elected radical Republicans want to abolish it, while the rest of the country is trying to raise it. This is one of those issues where a pragmatic political party would support a minimum wage increase because opposing it could do serious damage to them in the next election. However, this Republican Party is ideological. They will never support a minimum wage increase, and voters will make them pay dearly at the polls.
Democrats need to pound and press, because raising the minimum wage isn’t just a political issue. It’s the right thing to do for millions of hard working Americans.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association