We all know that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is against raising the minimum wage. He voted against it 16 times.
But McConnell is supporting U.S. Senate candidate and North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis. Tillis is not only against raising the minimum wage, but he thinks the entire minimum wage idea should be eliminated. He even called the idea of raising the minimum wage a “dangerous idea”:
U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis on Wednesday said he opposes President Barack Obama’s plan to increase the federal minimum wage, calling it a “dangerous idea.”
The Republican went even further to suggest government shouldn’t set a minimum wage, labeling it an “artificial threshold.”
When asked by a reporter if we should we get rid of the minimum wage, the Republican responded, “Yeah, I think you should consider anything that frees up the market, that creates more jobs.”
This is important because Tillis is the GOP establishment favorite. McConnell, as the Senate Minority Leader, has even donated to Tillis’ U.S. Senate campaign. These are supposedly not Tea Party extremists. It’s even more bizarre that in an election year, Tillis would feel so free to admit such a radical position… unless he doesn’t see it as radical at all.
And so we have to ask if getting rid of the minimum wage all together is the new Republican Party platform. Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog noticed the trend of Republicans against the minimum wage:
It’s not just Perry – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), among others, have all said recently they’re not only opposed to Democratic calls for a wage increase, but they’re also comfortable with scrapping the law altogether.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may believe the same thing, but when asked about his position, he refused to give an answer.
In January, McConnell claimed that raising the minimum wage would destroy jobs, and yet the Republican Party has blocked all but one of the jobs bills that the Democrats have proposed, and Republicans have not offered any of their own. McConnell excused his position regarding not wanting to raise the minimum wage by saying, “As part of our concern about creating jobs, the last thing we want to do is pass a measure to destroy jobs.”
Yet Mitch McConnell has been in Washington for 30 years and has never had a jobs plan. He is apparently waiting for the right time to unveil it, and so far, we are 43 days post his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, revealing her jobs plan, yet McConnell feels no pressure to come up with one of his own.
Tillis is the same guy who is getting hammered over Obamacare. Of course he’s a Republican so he’s against Obamacare, but he also doesn’t have anything else to replace it with because just like our U.S. House and Senate Republicans, he doesn’t think he needs to offer solutions.
Just as Republicans tried to hide their extremist agenda against women in 2010 and again in 2012 while at the same time touting it to the faithful, now they are trying to hide their anti-people agenda by claiming the minimum wage is bad for jobs.
While it might make sense at first glance to think that paying people more money would force employers to cut jobs, economists have differing opinions on the matter. Studying the fact that actually, the minimum wage has no discernible effect on employment, John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research concluded that economists, “often have trouble establishing a clear link between a higher minimum wage and higher unemployment.” Why? “There are lots of possible ways that companies can adjust to modest wage hikes besides hiring fewer people.”
Perhaps Mr. Schmitt’s findings explain what is behind the Republican reticence on the minimum wage:
The report reviews evidence on eleven possible adjustments to minimum wage increases that may
help to explain why the measured employment effects are so consistently small. The strongest evidence suggests that the most important channels of adjustment are: reductions in labor turnover; improvements in organizational efficiency; reductions in wages of higher earners (“wage compression”); and small price increases.”
Yes, raising the minimum wage can cause a reduction in the wages of higher earners, and we can’t have that. We can’t have high earners having to survive in a free market that is not rigged for them.
The evidence has spoken, and once again, it disagrees with Republicans. But it raises alarming questions as to the intentions of establishment Republicans, should they win the Senate in 2014. It looks like Mitch McConnell, as a leader of establishment Republicans, is trying to build an army of Republicans to kill the minimum wage all together.
McConnell’s votes against the minimum wage number at least 16: Vote 23, 1/24/07; Vote 179, 6/21/06; Vote 26, 3/7/05; Vote 257, 10/19/05; Vote 76, 4/7/00; Vote 356, 11/9/99; Vote 239, 7/30/99; Vote 94, 4/28/99; Vote 77, 3/25/99; Vote 278, 9/22/98; Vote 184, 7/9/96; Vote 183, 7/9/96; Vote 519, 10/27/95; Vote 33, 7/31/95; Vote 68, 5/17/89; Vote 39, 4/12/89