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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The GOP is having an increasingly difficult time explaining why its constituents don’t deserve a raise. On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) attended a town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida to solicit votes for his campaign for a third term in Congress. But instead of getting a warm reception, Ross faced frustrated attendees who had tough questions regarding his stance on the minimum wage. Ross struggled to defend himself, telling his audience that when it came to raising the minimum wage, “It’s just not right.”

One of the attendees was Shaneeka Rainer, an Arby’s employee who has been with the fast-food chain for a decade. In his 10 years of work, he has only received a raise once, and it was federally mandated. In 2007, Rainer’s hourly wage rose to $7.25, where it has remained for the past seven years. But due to inflation and a faltering economy, $7.25 is worth 8 percent less today than it was five years ago.

According to Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin (R), and what seems like the rest of the GOP, the minimum wage “only affects high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.” Rainer’s situation, however, proves that theory wrong.

When Rainer pressed Ross about raising the minimum wage, he was assured that such a move “would do more harm to our economy than anything.” Ross corroborated this stance by attempting to give the audience an economics lesson, insisting that “the cost of products, the cost of services are going to go up” if the minimum wage were raised, and asking, “Who’s going to pay for it?” When another audience member volunteered to pay a few more cents on a burger in order to foot the bill, Ross retaliated, saying simply, “It’s not right.

Video is below, via ThinkProgress:

Following the town hall, Rainer told ThinkProgress“[Ross] doesn’t understand what it’s like.” The congressman certainly didn’t take Rainer up on his offer to walk a mile in his shoes and spend a day at Arby’s, and instead continued to offer an ideological justification for why raising the minimum wage would destroy the American economy.

One company that apparently does not agree with Ross’ take is Disney World, which recently offered to raise its minimum wage to near the levels suggested by the Obama administration. Currently, wages at Disney are largely determined by time spent with the company, with compensation starting at $8.20 per hour for character actors and $14.75 for technicians. Wages are capped, however, at $14.75 and $21.60  respectively for the two positions.

Ross is no stranger to Disney World; he once served as the company’s in-house counsel, where he was responsible for handling workers’ compensation defense matters. Given this background, it comes as little surprise that Ross has developed a knack for avoiding discussions of raises in the workplace.

Rainer, who told Ross that he was “going to work every day busting my butt,” was unable to move his representative, who continued to stand by his claim that raising the minimum wage just wasn’t right, and furthermore, that the U.S. would have a “serious problem” if the government could tell its citizens how much they can be paid. It is unclear how this logic works out, particularly considering that Ross is not “suggesting that we do away with the minimum wage altogether.”

Photo: The All-Nite Images via Flickr

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33 responses to “GOP Congressman Can’t Quite Explain The Problem With Raising Minimum Wage”

  1. doninsd says:

    What is amazing about the minimum wage fight is the fact that studies have shown through empirical evidence that higher wages stimulate the economy starting with more jobs with lower turnover. It also leads to every thing from more businesses to more housing start-ups. It gives the damned GOPers what they say they want, yet they fight like hell against it. Perhaps they fight it because so many lower income people would have to be involved.

    • Grannysmovin says:

      That is the problem – presenting facts to a Republican Legislator or talking head is like handing them a blank paper. They don’t acknowledge or accept facts, they only acknowledge conspiracy theories and untruths.

    • mikem42 says:

      Let’s face it. If McDonalds, BK, KFC, et al could supply a bunk room, a shower and one change of uniform, that’s what they would do, in exchange for their slav—-er, their workers staying and working around the clock. I think the GOP would approve of that. No health care though, as that would be pandering to the underlings.

      • RobertCHastings says:

        Many companies already do that, and with the sanction of the US government, overseas. The clothing factory that burned in Bangladesh (and others,like it) supplies American retailers with their product, and operates, purportedly, under the auspices and guidance of the IMF and treaties signed by the US.

        • mikem42 says:

          I hate the thought that it is sanctioned by our government, since we the people are supposed to be the government. If bills were publicized and folks really knew what congress is passing, maybe it wouldn’t be so. Corporations are evil, in my mind, and have the complicity of our legislatures, both sides. Dems put up some resistance, but in the end, they take the money and vote for their own interests, and not ours. Repugs are another entire thing, as they thrive on screwing the common citizen of the USA.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Clinton was complicit in NAFTA, and many people were sold on a bill that would open up, ultimately, the entire world to reduced barriers to trade, with safeguards for workers safety and wages, and for the environment. We have seen how trade agreements like NAFTA have resulted in loss of jobs and reduced wages for American workers, and the opening up throughout Asia of shops like the one that burned in Bangladesh. ALEC has become the clearing house for pre-written legislation that promotes capitalism to the detriment of human values and human rights. If a piece of legislation does anything to the detriment of the interests of the extremely wealthy, it doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of passage. The NRA doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our Second Amendment rights (or ANY Constitutional rights, for that matter) only the bottom line of its chief supporters, the gun industry. NO restraints have yet to implemented regarding our finance industry, although lip service has been paid to regulation. The list goes on and on of how America is collapsing under the weight of reduced Democracy.

          • mikem42 says:

            Couldn’t or wouldn’t say it differently, except I think the collapse is under the weight of increased plutocracy; corporate money has kicked democracy to the curb.

    • idamag says:

      The more a person makes, the more taxes paid to pay down the national debt that the hypocrites yammer about. The more a person makes, the more he is going to put back into the economy as a consumer. Is that dense?

      • plc97477 says:

        Unless he is already making more than anyone could spend in a lifetime.

      • Allan Richardson says:

        Mark Hanauer, a progressive internet billionaire who REALLY understands why trickle down doesn’t work, used this illustration: an average worker owns one or two cars (if both partners are working). He makes a thousand times as much as the average worker, but there is no way he could buy 2000 cars; he may have 5 or 6 nice cars, so that he has a couple of spares, but the rest of that “car budget” just sits in a bank account. And the only way the top 1% will help retire the national debt is IF THEY PAY TAXES ON IT, which they are avoiding for the most part.

        • mikem42 says:

          He could also start up a manufacturing company here at home, pay good wages and benefits, put out a good product, and we would support him. Then, maybe others would follow. His billions don’t have to sit on the sidelines.

      • mikem42 says:

        They can’t see the trees because of the greenbacks. Dense is good in their mind.

      • RobertCHastings says:

        You have the right idea, to a point. The more a person makes, up to a point, the more he recycles through our economic system. However, someone who makes a million a year doesn’t need (and thus will not buy) several new cars, a couple new houses, or whatever else a million dollars in spendable income could buy. What he does not spend does NOT go into the economy by way of creating jobs or improving our economic position. After spending on what he NEEDS, he will put it in some investment that enhances his wealth, not the wealth of the nation. If I make $40K a year, what is NOT spent on taxes, etc. I will spend mostly on consumer goods: what a person who has an income of $1M a year spends on consumer goods is NOT going to be the whole shabang, but maybe 10%. And, once again, the remained DOES NOT go toward creating jobs and DOES NOT “trickle-down”.

    • plc97477 says:

      That’s one reason but mostly because the unions are for minimum wage and the gotp are against everything the unions are for.

  2. CPAinNewYork says:

    The Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage because business doesn’t like the minimum wage and the Republicans take their orders from the business community. Another reason for the Republicans’ dislike of the minimum wage is that they’re elitist pricks.

  3. Lovefacts says:

    The GOP’s sole interest is in the bottom line of their corporate sponsors. The problem is, most Americans don’t know the truth and the media doesn’t talk about it or how we the taxpayer subsidize this low wage corporate profits through food stamps, housing assistance, aid to dependent children, Medicaid, the school breakfast and lunch program, to name a few.
    Here are a few facts about the minimum wage that’s also never talked about:
    1. In constant (1996) dollars, the $7.25/hour minimum wage is really worth $4.87/hour.
    2. The average age of affected workers is 35 years old.
    3. 88% percent of all affected workers are at least 20 years old.
    3. 35.5% are at least 40 years old.
    4. 56% are women.
    5. 28% have children.
    6. 55% work full-time (35 hours per week or more).
    7. 44% have at least some college experience.

  4. Patricia Robertson says:

    Watch the town hall meeting start dropping to a halt, republicans don’t like for their followers to questions them why they don’t agree with them and then in november they will be voted out. Republicans never learn, they run away from the truth and fight for a lie, just look how hard they fight to get rid of obamacare with lies. They run towards that with both barrels loaded with lies and the samething about abortion rights and voter id laws. They just don’t learn.

    • plc97477 says:

      Unfortunately a brain is needed to learn anything and gotp has no heart or brain.

    • RobertCHastings says:

      The reason they freak out is they don’s have legitimate answers, only talking points. Anything that gets away from those talking points throws them into a tizzy. That is truly the sign of people with limited intelligence. Even a good actor knows how to improvise.

    • itsfun says:

      If you like your health plan you can keep your health plan. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. obamacare payments will be just like making your cell phone payment. Every family will save 2500 a year. Obama said these lies. You have to show id to cash a check, get on a plane, so why not show id to vote for our nations leaders. Could it be because you will be able to only vote once and dead people won’t be able to vote.

      • Patricia Robertson says:

        Why do you think it is a lie when the majority of the people who are signing up are completely happy and the only repeating that is the republicans. That is history we all know why the president said and no longer cares because most people do keep their dr and most people insurance are cheaper and they are better. As for the voter id people has no problem with showing pic id itis the closing of voting polls, cutting out voting hours, days and what they can show for id in order to get their pic id. There is very little voter id fraud, it is so small to count and when it is, is found to be done on the republicans side. Democrats have no reason to cheat for votes, remember Bush and Fl, so lets no more about fraud. We just had straight out one vote for one person in 2008 and 2014 and in scared the heck out of the republicans. Its not going to stop, the republicans have downgraded, disrespected every race of people they need to vote for them and in the they expect them to elect them to office. It used too work that until this president came on the scene and broke the window and woke people up and people aren’t sleeping anymore. They are thinking for themselves now. Why do you think the republicans ratings are so low, why do you think they keep jammed up in their town hall meetings, why do you think they keep trying hard to backward comments when they make them? Because they know people are fed up with them and they are fighting to hold on their party, but everyday someone come out with some weird dumb thing putting them in the spotlight taking their party down one more notch. They don’t know how to stop this rollercoaster they are on and they don’t when or how it is going to stop but they know when it does it is not going to be good and it will destroy the party. But it something they started in 2008 for no reason but for pure for a black president who did no wrong to them.

        • itsfun says:

          Who says most people are happy with the obamacare tax? For every poll you come up with there at 2 or 3 polls that say the opposite. The polls show that something like only 3% of previous uninsured people have actually bought insurance through the obamacare tax exchanges.
          Voter Id fraud, check out the state of Indiana and look at which party now has people in jail for voter fraud. You excuse lies by the president of the United States, you excuse voter fraud. Ares in Philly had more people voting for Obama then were registered votes in the area. You excuse and ignore lies and fraud like they don’t matter. You defend the most corrupt administration in the history of the US. We have a administration that says to enforce only laws it agrees with. You have an administration of bribery, lies. We now have a country that has become a laughing stock of the world. Obama draws red lines, then doesn’t draw red lines. He orders border patrol agents to let illegals go and releases criminals from jail.

  5. JDavidS says:

    “It’s just not right” to raise the minimum wage…This from an asshole who earns a base rate of $174,000 per year (more if he sits on any committees) and works in a congress who sat just 126 days in 2013.
    The gall of that statement is simply breathtaking.

  6. T.j. Thomas says:

    “the cost of products, the cost of services are going to go up”

    Well thank heavens prices never ever ever go up for any other reason than raising minimum wage.

  7. idamag says:

    And when we do away with the minimum wage, strive to not pay workers at all. Many of those businesses can raise wages and still make a hefty profit. They are greedy.

  8. Allan Richardson says:

    It’s official: Mickey Mouse is smarter on economics than a Republican elected official!

  9. Lynda Groom says:

    Another empty suit put into office by a poorly informed electorate. Pay attention folks and do a little research before sending such people to Washington. You get just what you deserve when you elect creatures like this clown.

  10. RobertCHastings says:

    The federal government tells millions how much they will be paid, through Social Security, through federal payrolls (especially military), through contractors, through control of Interstate Commerce, and dozens of others

  11. JO says:

    “It’s just not right to raise the minimum wage” CEO’s get huge raises and executives get gigantic bonuses every year – the sky doesn’t fall and the company doesn’t go bankrupt.

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