Sen. Bernie Sanders went on MSNBC and destroyed every major Republican argument against raising the minimum wage, while calling the GOP’s position, ‘just factually wrong.’
Sen. Sanders destroyed the Republican claim that raising the minimum wage would be a job killer,
I say they’re just factually wrong. In my state of Vermont, our minimum wage is $8.60 compared to the national minimum wage of $7.25. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in America. You have states where there is virtually no minimum wage at all, and their unemployment rate is much higher. The facts just don’t bear it out. The reality is that if we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour about 30 million Americans would get a pay raise, and 88% of them are adults. These are not kids. These are working families struggling to keep their heads above water. They need a pay raise. We’ve gotta pass it.
(Sanders was asked by Ed Schultz if McDonalds can afford to pay its employees $15 an hour.)
Ed, here is the real outrage. Not only can they afford to pay a decent minimum wage, but here is the point. Right now the taxpayers of this country are subsidizing the McDonalds people, Burger King and Walmart. In Walmart in particular, you have the wealthiest family in the world. They’re worth $100 billion, but the wages and the benefits they provide to their workers are so low that many of these workers go on Medicaid. They go on food stamps. They have to get government help for their housing, so the taxpayers of America end up subsidizing Walmarts, McDonalds, and Burger King. If we raise the minimum wage the workers would actually have enough living, enough income to get off of some of these programs.
Sen. Sanders completely destroyed the Republican arguments against raising the minimum wage. Republicans don’t have any facts or data to back up their opposition to increasing the minimum wage, so they always try to turn the argument into an ideological one. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently debunked the Republican claim that raising the minimum wage would raise prices by pointing out that if McDonalds raised their minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, prices would increase by four cents.
Bernie Sanders is trying to rally the American people to get up and demand an increase in the minimum wage. Tens of millions of adult Americans would escape poverty if the minimum wage was increased. The gap between the corporate profits and worker salaries has never been more extreme. These employers could easily afford to raise their minimum wage, but it is a matter of greed at the top.
The Republican protection of the rich at all cost is sowing the seeds of a voter rebellion. Worker protests are increasing, and potential customers are starting to take their money elsewhere. Republicans can offer no good reason for opposing an increase in the minimum wage, and the bill is coming do for their servitude to the wealthiest Americans.
When it comes to the minimum wage, Republicans don’t have a leg to stand on.
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