President Bush today said he supported raising the minimum wage:
President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that he supports a Democratic proposal to increase the U.S. minimum wage but said it should be coupled with tax and regulatory relief for small businesses.
“I believe we should do it in a way that does not punish the millions of small businesses that are creating most of the new jobs in our country,” Bush told a news conference. “So, I support pairing it with targeted tax and regulatory relief to help these small businesses stay competitive and to help keep our economy growing.”
Democrats, who took control of Congress in November elections, have said they will push to raise the minimum wage over two years to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour.
Bush appears to have GOP congressional backing as well. This statement was released today from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell:
An increase in the minimum wage needs to help both the workers who earn it and the small businesses that pay it. That’s why it just makes sense to pair the increased wage with tax and regulatory relief to help the small businesses that provide most of the jobs in this country stay competitive and employ even more people. The President laid out a commonsense approach to this issue, one that the Congress can pass in a bipartisan way.
But what nobody is talking about is consequences of raising the minimum wage. Heritage’s Tim Kane:
After decades of experience, everyone should know that regulating the price of labor is identical to any other price control and an especially crude way to “fix” free markets. Raising the minimum wage will hurt low-income workers, cost jobs, and hobble the American economy. Congress should know by now that bucking the laws of economics does not work.