Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) dismissed the Congressional Budget Office report predicting that half a million jobs or more may be lost by a minimum wage hike, arguing that Republicans would keep wages down to about a buck an hour if they could.
“If you believe that raising the minimum wage would lose jobs, it never should have been raised from the time it was a buck, you know, in the ’50s and the ’60s and we’ve created about 80 million jobs since then,” Boxer told MSNBC.
Senate Democrats are wanting a hike to at least $10.10 per hour. The CBO found that a rate less than that, which Dems have said is a non-starter, would kill fewer jobs.
“When people are earning a decent living, when they don’t have to fear that they can feed their families when they come home after working a full-day, it does lift everyone up including the communities in which they live because they spend dollars in the community,” Boxer said.
“So I think overall, if we took the attitude that the Republicans take is don’t raise the minimum wage and we applied it — when I was a kid and the minimum wage was a buck an hour, it would still be a buck an hour and by the way since then we’ve created tens and millions of jobs,” she said. “So I think, you know, the CBO comes out with these reports, they did it on healthcare and it turned out that was really good news also because people wouldn’t be stuck in job lock because they’d finally have health insurance, they could start their own businesses, other people would take their jobs.”
“At the end of the day, we know from so many years and decades that raising the minimum wage is a win-win.”
Boxer said Republicans have “a losing argument,” adding that their attitude would mean the country would still “have a buck an hour in minimum wage and we know that’s ridiculous.”