Friday, November 02, 2012

Akin staffer: Minimum wage stands in the way of putting people back to work

You would never believe how many workers would be hired for 10 cents a day. In this news release, the Claire McCaskill campaign notes that a top Todd Akin staffer is doubling down on Akin's anti-minimum wage statements.

Today, the Kansas City Star reported that Rick Tyler, spokesman for Akin for Senate, defended Todd Akin’s extreme opposition of the middle wage by claiming that the minimum wage slows down the process of getting people back to work. This fringe belief completely disregards the needs of Missouri’s working families who rely on the minimum wage and the promise that employers will be held accountable to fairly pay their employers.

“Todd Akin and his campaign continue to stand by their extreme beliefs that we know would hurt Missouri’s working families,” said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “By advocating for the elimination of the minimum wage, Todd Akin is asking Missourians to join him in a race to the bottom and see which employers can pay their workers the least. Not only has Claire fought to protect the safety net Missourians rely on but she is also a Senator who is willing to put politics aside to fight for solutions that will increase the quality of life for Missouri families.”

As the Kansas City Star reported today: Rick Tyler, an Akin spokesman who watched the news conference, said afterwards that the priority now is to get people back to work, and the minimum wage often slows that process. When people get on the job, then other opportunities often open up for them.”

In the Senate, Claire stood on the side of Missouri’s working families and fighting to protect a strong minimum wage, while Akin has consistently opposed and denounced the minimum wage at both the federal and state level, despite the mainstream understanding from economists and analysts that such laws are critical for a healthy middle class and good for the economy.

As a state lawmaker, Akin voted against establishing a minimum wage in Missouri, and as U.S. congressman he opposed legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to its current level of $7.25 per hour. When asked during a 2012 Senate primary debate if he knew the federal minimum wage, Akin incorrectly guessed it to be around $6 or $7 before expressing his belief that it should be abolished altogether.


Minimum Wage Laws Help Working Families and the Economy. According to the Economic Policy Institute, minimum wage laws help working families and are good for the economy.  Further, increasing the minimum wage benefits workers and creates jobs.  “This is exactly the right time to raise the minimum wage,” wrote Doug Hall of the Economic Policy Institute.  “Doing so in a weak economy not only helps those who most need help, it also provides an immediate boost to the economy, generating additional economic activity that benefits everyone.”  One study found that “increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014 would benefit over 28 million workers and increase national GDP by over $25 billion, in the process creating over 100,000 jobs.” [Economic Policy Institute, 7/19/12]

Akin Did Not Know the Federal Minimum Wage. According to the Associated Press, at a March 2012 GOP primary debate, Akin and none of his GOP opponents "could identify correctly the current federal minimum wage," currently set at $7.25. Akin "said he was guessing the minimum wage was around $6 or $7, called it another example of something wrong that the government is doing." [Associated Press, 3/16/12]

Akin Voted Against Raising the Minimum Wage to Its Current Level. Akin voted against HR 2. The bill increased the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over the next two years. The bill also extended federal minimum wage requirements to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and set it at $3.55 an hour 60 days after enactment. The wage would rise in 50 cent increments every six months until it reaches the $7.25 per hour level. [Vote 18, 1/10/07]

1989: Akin Opposed Bill To Establish A State Minimum Wage. In October 2000, the St. Louis Post-Dispatchreported that, in 1989, Akin opposed "a bill to establish a state minimum wage. The bill passed, but the governor vetoed it." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/3/00]

Nearly 110,000 Missouri Workers Make the Minimum Wage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 109,000 workers in Missouri were paid at or below the Federal minimum wage in 2011. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3/2/12]

No comments: