Minimum Wage Debate In A Nutshell

Plenty of talk but no action in the U.S. Senate

America Needs a Raise Bus Tour
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Republican opponents of a proposed federal minimum wage increase blocked Democrats from opening a formal debate on the issue in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

Opponents of the increase used the threat of a filibuster to block the debate from the floor, at least for now.

The defeat was expected. This is merely the latest round in an ongoing battle over the proposal by President Barack Obama to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25 an hour.

So, the formal debate was stopped in its tracks.

Nevertheless, there was plenty of debate about whether to allow the debate.

Here is a sample of views for and against the minimum wage, expressed on or off the floor by members of the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., proposed his own alternative to a raise in the minimum wage, the American Energy Renaissance Act:

"The discussion before this chamber is whether to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But, even if it passed, the real Obama minimum wage is zero dollars and zero cents. Far better than the promise of $10.10 an hour, is $46.98 – the wage Americans can earn in the oil and gas industry. We ought to come together with bipartisan unanimity to say we will stand with the American people to bring millions of jobs, raise median income and make it easier for people who are struggling to achieve the American Dream. We should all come together and vote on the American Energy Renaissance Act, to remove government barriers and open up new federal lands and resources to develop high-paying, promising jobs that expand opportunity."

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said:

"By increasing the national minimum wage, we would not only help West Virginians and Americans receive a fair shot at building better lives for their families, but we would also boost economic prosperity and create jobs."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., spoke against a minimum wage increase on the floor of the Senate on Monday:

"A minimum wage increase is said to benefit low-income Americans, but only $1 in $5 from an increase will go to families below the poverty line. And that is not all. In addition to cutting 500,000 jobs and providing 80 percent of the benefits to families above the poverty level, the Democrats' jobs proposal imposes one more burden on the only Americans who are capable of solving this problem, and that is the job creators."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said after the defeat:

"Partisan politics have once again gotten in the way of strengthening our economy. Instead of lifting millions of Americans out of poverty and boosting the economy, my Republican colleagues have chosen to sit on the sidelines. It's past time to stop the bickering, deal with this important issue, and give the American people the raise they deserve."

Sen. Paul Rand, R-KY, spoke to a Louisville business group, and was quoted by The Courier-Journal:

"It is a fact, an economic fact, that when you raise the minimum wage, the people that are hurt the worst are minorities and kids," Paul told a dozen business owners and officials gathered at the Louisville Plate Glass Co., 1401 W. Broadway, owned by GOP mogul Bill Stone.

Instead, Paul said, the best way to lure investment to blighted neighborhoods is to dramatically slash corporate and personal income taxes in those areas. He has introduced legislation that would cut those taxes in ZIP codes where at least one quarter of the residents live at or below the poverty line, dubbed "Economic Freedom Zones."

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, said:

The American people–Democrats, Republicans and Independents–are telling us to do the right thing and ensure no one working full time is stuck living in poverty. I'm sorry we missed this opportunity today."

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It has always been understood that fast food jobs (other than management positions) help initiate the unskilled into the workforce. For the most part they start to teach the unskilled how to deal with the public and learn responsibility.
Burger flipping although a profession to some is merely a means for the unskilled to make some money. Most people will aim a little bit higher in choosing a career. Like the saying goes "poverty is mother natures way of telling you to choose a different career. Just because some people missed career day at school should not make everyone of us suffer.

May 24 2014 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jaime Graham

Unions are legalized black-mailers. If you do not like the pay, get another job.

Nobody forces you to work there, and if you can not afford to have kids, then do something about it

May 15 2014 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I say no raise, but make those paying min. wage set up an education account for each employee kind of like a 401k every dollar the employee makes the employer puts 30 cents in to the account. That way after a few years the employee can go to school and learn skills that will help them find a better job.

May 15 2014 at 7:39 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It is SAD when making $21,008.00 at a full time job is lifted out of poverty.

That would be the yearly salary at the proposed $10.10 an hour, and it STILL is barely enough for one person to survive on.

I think the minimum wage should be increased by more, to get people to actual livable wages.

May 09 2014 at 3:01 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to s247247's comment
Hello Stephen

Are you that ignorant and wasteful with money? I was able to live off of $12,000 a year working a minimum wage job while earning my college degree living on my own. What the hell do you have to spend $21,000 to get you through the year? THat is the problem with you damn liberals... overspending and giving out money that is not earned. I now make 60,000 a year after my hard work, time and sacricficing i put myself through to get here. Its something you liberals don't possess... a strong drive fro success

May 15 2014 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do any of these people realize Washington only controls jo salaries that are federally connected? Of couse the contractors get their cut before it goes to the worker.

May 09 2014 at 1:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Democrats DO NOT relate job performance to the minimum wage, as they are only interested in giving someone else's money (the employer) to people who may or may not deserve a raise. Does everyone deserve to make $10.10 an hour, NO, as pay is a reflection of the person's contributions to the business. If a person can not live on $7.25, that person should work harder, improve himself/herself, and learn skills that pay a higher salary.

Of course, the Democrats do not believe this, after all, they will say, "Well, we tried to get you a raise to $10.10, but the Republicans would not go along with it", at election time. Their objective is clear, buy votes, at the expense of the employer.

May 09 2014 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a business owner . . . .when minimun wage goes up . .. my prices go up . . .as does everything else in the economy. The cycle starts again. I do not want an increase in the minimun wage because I do not start people at minimun wage . .. . .I start them well above it and give them several quick increases in the first two months. Of course 3/4 of the people I hire I have to let go in the first two weeks because they cannot do the job . . . .by that I mean showing up ON TIME, HYGENIC, IN A PROPER UNIFORM THAT I PROVIDE FOR FREE AND READY TO WORK which includes frying burgers, mopping restrooms ands asking "fries with that . . . .would you like to supersize" The employees that make this simple committment are well paid . . . on time . . . .with no sexual harassment and are given the days off they request or need in an emergency. . . . they ppreciate their jop and perform it responsibility. I have written dozens of letters of recomandations for these employees when they go off to school or find a better paying (i.e. more involved and responsible) gig. Most minimun wage employees are not woth half of what you pay them. AND owner I always make sure I fry burgers, mop out the bathrooms, and ask fries with that when I am on the job. Mimimun wage jobs are not meant to be a career . . . .and BTW why is Congress so interested in what jobs people are doing/paid when they are incapable of doing the job we elected them for.

May 09 2014 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nightmagic23103's comment

You sound like me. I paid way above min wage and fired most the first week. My first year, I wrote 309 W-2s and I only keep a 10-11 man crew. Now I am not fast food, but rather constuction, but it is the same principle. Raising min wage does not cure the problem. They have been trying that for 70 years with the same results. Two years later you are back were you were before the raise. BTW, I hate it when they ask me if I want fries or something. I ordered what I wanted the first time. Also, you are right about Congress. It no longer serves the people.

May 09 2014 at 2:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The one thing I think about are the workers who are now making above the minimum wage. Are they going to get an increase too? Or are the folks who want something for nothing going to be the only ones to benifit?...........

May 09 2014 at 12:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My small sub shop would not survive a $10 min. wage. Open 10 hours a day. Need 2 1/2 workers there for most of the day. That is $250 A DAY. Plus equalling the Soc.Sec. and medicare taxes and workers comp. Not mentioning RENT - UTILITIES - COST OF GOODS SOLD - INSURANCE.- ETC. With this great economy we gross $600 a day. YOU DO THE MATH.

May 09 2014 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's a little mental exercise. Let's say a 16 year old wants to work at a local store, but the owner is only offering $5.00 per hour. It's OK with the kid, OK with the owner, and OK with the parents. Now by what authority does government declare that this transaction, which is considered beneficial by all involved, cannot take place?

May 08 2014 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JC's comment

It would probably interest you to know, that if it is truly a local SMALL business, they don't have to pay minimum wage to teenagers.

May 09 2014 at 3:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to s247247's comment
Hello Stephen

always an exception for liberals right?

May 15 2014 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

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