One of the highlights of President Obama's State of the Union Address was his call for a federal increase in the minimum wage. While millions of Americans would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage, many Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, are pushing back.
Appearing on Fox News, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was asked about the president's plan to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $9/hr. Following the lead of other Republicans, Rubio disagreed with the president's plan to increase the minimum wage, citing potential future job losses for his reasoning.
Rubio: "Well, first of all, I want to see people making a lot more than $9 an hour in the United States. And the way do you that is through rapid economic growth where people are being paid a lot more than that. $9 is not enough. I think we all would want that. The question is is a minimum wage the best way to do it? And history has said the answer is absolutely not. In fact, the impact of minimum wage usually is that businesses hire less people. That’s the impact of it. They’ll just hire less people to do the same amount of work…We have a lot of history to prove that the minimum wage , raising the minimum wage does not grow the middle class."
While Rubio and other Republicans continue to push the narrative that increasing the minimum wage would lead to job losses, other reports say different. According to a study done by Fiscal Policy, states that have minimum wages higher than the federal level between 1998 and 2003 showed job growth was higher overall compared to states that kept the minimum wage at the federal level. Raisetheminimumwage.org also points out that studies done by various economists at top universities show that raising the minimum wage didn't result in job losses.
"The most sophisticated minimum wage study to date, published in November 2010 by economists at the University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina, and University of California, compared employment data among every pair of neighboring U.S. counties that straddle a state border and had differing minimum wage levels at any time between 1990 and 2006, and found that minimum wage increases did not cost jobs. A companion study published in April 2011 found that these results hold true even during periods of recession and high unemployment."
While Marco Rubio and other Republicans fight to stop an increase in the federal minimum wage, millions of Americans continue to struggle to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads.