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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney broke with his party on Friday, echoing President Barack Obama’s repeated calls to raise the federal minimum wage.

“I, for instance, as you know, part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it,” Romney said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay, and I think communicating that is important to us.”

Romney’s comments come 10 days after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have raised the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour; only one Republican, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), voted in favor of the measure.

This is not a new position for Romney; he has spoken out in favor of pegging the minimum wage to inflation since his failed 1994 Senate race against Ted Kennedy. He reiterated that belief during the 2012 campaign, although he later backtracked under pressure from his party’s right wing.

Romney is the third 2012 candidate to endorse a higher minimum wage in the past two weeks. Previously, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum called for a hike.

Romney’s insistence that a higher minimum wage is consistent with the Republican Party being for “more jobs” directly contradicts House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has claimed that such measures are job killers. But it does align Romney with hundreds of top economists, who insist that “increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market.”

The vast majority of Americans also agree with Romney and the Democrats; a Gallup poll from earlier in the year found that 73 percent of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

Video of Romney’s remarks is below, via MSNBC:

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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  • paulyz

    I believe a big contributor to low wages is the Millions of Illegals in the U.S., causing unemployment & people willing to work for low wages, even though these Illegals get many free benefits. If there were not a surplus of cheap labor, businesses would have to raise wages “on their own” to attract workers, (competition for labor). This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed first.

    • Joyce

      You are like the plague, Paulyz. you spew your poison everywhere. Is there something with which you DON’T have an opinion. I suppose your ancestors were Native Americans, right? Therefore, you and your ilk were born here and never had ancestors who had to immigrate. Am I right or am I right?

      • paulyz

        Again you assume. My greatgrandfather on my father’s side immigrated LEGALLY and my grandparents on my mothers side immigrated LEGALLY!

        • Dominick Vila

          My father was born in Spain. He entered the USA legally via Ellis Island in 1920, at a time when entry visas were not necessary. People arrived, they went through an immigration office where they had a physical examination, they were required to have $20 in their possession, and they were required to provide the name and address of a relative capable to supporting them upon arrival. Since then, our immigration laws were changed to expedite the entry of foreign professionals needed to satisfy domestic demand for their talent, at the expense of unskilled or semi-skilled workers whose labor is very much in demand.
          I don’t support a Reagan style amnesty inasmuch as it does not address the likelihood of a continuance of illegal immigration, and I don’t support a path to citizenship to those who broke our laws, regardless of how inadequate they may be, but I believe our laws must be changed to address our needs. I also believe illegal immigrants should be granted legal residency status to work in the USA, and I believe children of illegal immigrants who came to the USA when they were minors and, especially, those born in the USA, should not be deported. The latter is unconstitutional.
          Our economic problems are not caused by illegal immigrants. On the contrary, cheap labor helps us keep inflation down, allows us to be more competitive, and is a major contributor to high corporate profits, and to our high standard of living.
          Regarding the claim that illegal immigrants are using our social programs, nothing is further from the truth. Most remain in the shadows for fear of getting caught. Don’t confuse the Hispanic-Latino children you see in our schools and hospitals with illegals. Most are Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens the moment they are born. Others are the children of Cuban refugees who were granted asylum by President Reagan the moment they set foot on U.S. soil. Others are the children of Mexican and Central American people who lived in what we now know as the United States before your and my ancestors came to this country.

    • adp3d

      What free benefits? These people pay taxes and are not represented by anyone… Please list these free benefits.

      • drdroad

        They actually pay more than we do for the ‘free’ benefits. Like all of us, they pay SS and Medicare taxes, but of course will never be able to collect on them as 1. they are illegal and 2. their SS# is also false.

  • Increasing the minimum wage would in many cases be just transfer money from those who eat at McDonalds to those who work at McDonalds and similar establishments. At worst it is a distraction from the main cause of both inequality and the low level of economic growth which is the vast shift in tax burden away from to rich and onto everyone else. How could you not get a vast increase in inequality when you make the tax rate on the types of incomes that the wealthy receive such as dividends, capital gains and corporate profits much less than the tax rates on wages and make 99.9% of all estates exempt from the inheritance tax?

    “..It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the 1929 and 2007 depressions. …. ….Equally unhelpful in terms of addressing the income and wealth inequality which results in the overinvestment cycle that caused the depression are various non-tax
    factors. Issues such a minimum wage laws, unwed mothers, globalization, free trade, unionization, problems with our education system and infrastructure can increase the income and wealth inequality. However, these are extremely minor when compared to the shift of the tax burden from the rich to the middle class. It is the compounding effect of shift away from taxes on capital income such as dividends each year as the rich get proverbially richer which is the prime generator of inequality…”

  • Dominick Vila

    I have to give the worst Republican presidential candidate in history credit. As a businessman he understands the benefit of a higher disposable income. Our economy is a consumer-oriented economy. Put more money in the pockets of the working poor and the middle class, and spending would go up accordingly.
    Raising the minimum wage would not bankrupt America, it would be a bonanza for the business community, and it would allow the lowest earners in our society live with a modicum of dignity. Why is the GOP opposing a proposal that has the support of most Americans, and that would help strengthen our economy? Because it was proposed by a man they hate, and because a strong economy would make it almost impossible for them to claim economic chaos as a result of Democratic party domestic policies. They would rather sacrifice the livelihood of half of our population, a fact that was eloquently articulated by their last presidential candidate, than give the Democrats a chance to claim victory.

    • angelsinca

      There you again Dominick, imagining that Republicans hate Obama at every turn. And no, they would NOT rather sacrifice the livelihood of half the population. To refresh your memory, the 47% were ID’d as not supporting Romney for president. Period.

      Is the LEFT that lacking of adequate support for an unscheduled MW hike that it it now has to invoke an endorsement from the man it loves to ridicule and discredit? I don’t believe YOU’VE earned that privilege to USE him as an unwilling spokesman for your inflation-causing agenda. We still need JOBS, not handouts.

      • Dominick Vila

        Whether the overt opposition to President Obama’s agenda, from the stimulus package to mortgage refinancing breaks to investment in infrastructure were influenced by political ideology, campaign strategy, or personal hatred is immaterial. The fact is that Republicans have opposed President Obama’s proposals since he was inaugurated in January 2009, and by the looks of it, they plan to continue doing it.
        Let me refresh your memory, when Mitt Romney said that he was not worried and was not going to waste his time with 47% of us, he included comments and explanations for that statement by claiming that half of the U.S. population was on the dole. He would have been well served by stepping out of his exclusive country club and spending a little time with average folks. Had he done that, he would have learned that the overwhelming majority of Americans have a job, sometimes two, work hard, and are determined to provide the best for their children. Contrary to what he thinks, we are not bums, and we don’t dismiss our fellow citizens as handily as he did.
        Would you explain how have countries like Australia, New Zealand and Germany managed to have a minimum wage that is much higher than ours, and inflation has not doomed their economy? The key to economic growth and creation of jobs in a consumer oriented economy depends on consumer confidence and spending. A higher disposable income translates to higher spending, which is a key component for economic growth. Austerity accomplishes the opposite. President Obama understands that simple economic fact, and not surprisingly, he proposed an increase in our minimum wage to $10.10…which is still below those in the countries I cited.

        • angelsinca

          You keep mentioning that inflating the minimum wage will result in more ‘disposable income’. Not really. Who do you think pays for it? A very small minority may end up with a little more to spend. But, those small gains will be offset by higher higher prices for everyone. We all lose. A few gain. Feel free to use the ACA as an example.

          • Dominick Vila

            Every study conducted to date suggests raising the minimum wage will have minimal impact on inflation. I can;t remember the exact figure, but one example indicated that the price of a Big Mac may go up less than 25 cents.
            Yes, we need more jobs, and that is exactly what has been happening the last few years. We would all like higher gains in that area, but that is easier said than done. Don’t forget that we were losing jobs before President Obama was inaugurated.
            What we need is innovators, people like Ford, Gates, Jobs, and all the other entrepreneurs that revolutionized our industry and job market. We also need more professionals, particularly in the field of hard sciences. It is unfortunate that many of the best jobs our economy has to offer are going to foreign professionals from countries like India and Pakistan, while our young people are struggling to find a mediocre job.
            Protectionism may produce short term gains, but in the long run it will backfire.

      • Dominick Vila

        BTW, don’t forget that Mitt Romney was not running for Chairman of the GOP, he was running for President and, consequently, his concerns and agenda should have been focused on the well being of ALL Americans, not just his constituents.

        • angelsinca

          Thanks for the reminder, as it relates only to garnering votes for the presidency. We will likely never know how inclusive that focus would have been had Romney become president. However, since the current president never did stop campaigning against the other half of the nation, we now have the opportunity to experience a sampling of that focused concern in the opposite direction.

          • Dominick Vila

            Every policy President Obama has proposed and signed is designed to help all Americans. He has said or done anything that excludes Republicans from the gains we are making. In fact, most of the entrepreneurs that are benefiting from the economic recovery are Republicans.

          • angelsinca

            Every policy President Obama has proposed and signed is designed to help all Americans.

            Agreed. Yet the continuing rhetoric by this president (and his supporters) denouncing the conservative half of the nation indicates otherwise.

  • adp3d

    So my wife says…”What? Did he have a stroke?”

  • Donald Kral

    When most of our ancestors came across the ocean years ago from many different countries, they learned our language. Now we have to have everything said and printed in English and Spanish and it is just a hard slap in the face to all of our ancestors who came here and did everything right. Maybe EVERYONE when you call a company and they say press 2 fpr Spanish, we should press 2 and do it repeatedly tying up their lines until they get it right. We speak English and ONLY English here. If you can’t speak it, get the hell out/

  • bcarreiro

    capital gains should be raised to 20% as well as the minimum wage. Your opinion is not needed…. get a real job smitty.


    Well Mitt said one intelligent thing.