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Partisan battle on raising the minimum wage rages on

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There is probably no better example of the divide between Democrats and Republicans than the battle over raising the minimum wage. Democrats are for it; Republicans are against it.

According to Pew Research, “The public has long supported increasing the minimum wage. In a February survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, 71% said they favored raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9.00 an hour, as Obama has proposed. Just 26% opposed raising the minimum wage.”

Yet Republicans voted against a minimum wage hike in March, and remain opposed to the idea today, despite the increase in protests from fast food workers across the nation.

The Republican argument revolves, in part, around labor costs for employers, claiming that raising the minimum wage would kill jobs. But Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says there is no physical evidence to suggest that claim is valid.

"I say they’re just factually wrong,” Sen. Sanders told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz. “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.”

As the gap between rich and poor continues to rise in America, minimum wage has become a hot-button issue. Putting more money into the pockets of working-class people would take more of them off food stamps and other federally funded programs for the poor. That, in turn, raises federal income tax revenue and reduces federal spending.

In real dollars, today’s workers are actually making less than they did in the 1950’s.



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