Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says raising the minimum wage should be the midterm election-year issue that gets people out to the polls this fall.
“We need federal action,” she told MSNBC. “…The pressure should be on these Republicans who brought about, in my view, under George W. Bush because of their policies, a horrific economic crash. President Obama got on top of this. Remember we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. We’ve had all these months of job creation, we’ve cut the deficit in half, we have some credibility and I believe there are three things we can do now to get this economy rocking and rolling. And one of them is to raise the minimum wage, the other pay unemployment compensation to those long-term unemployed, and third, pass an immigration bill.”
“And those three things would get us really moving. So I’m not going to sit back and say let the cities and states do it. I’m going to push as hard as I can and I think we’ve made the case,” Boxer continued. “…I ran into Robert Reich the other day and he said, ‘You know, this is the same story we hear over and over again. Oh, we’ll lose jobs, we’ll lose jobs.’ And when we raised the minimum the wage with Bill Clinton in the White House, we created 23 million jobs. And Reich said it was a great to thing do and I think he has credibility.”
The senator said “we need the passion of the people and we need the people to vote in this midterm election.”
“These are the issues that are confronting us. Oh, my God, this is a huge difference between the parties. Sadly, it never used to be. Under George W., we raised the minimum wage. We did it in a few steps. This makes no sense but that’s where the parties are. You know, two-thirds of small businesses support an increase in the minimum wage because, you know, they’re very smart, they see that if their workers have some extra money in their pocket they will spend it on the products that they sell, that they produce. Henry Ford understood this. And I think it’s important to know that the average age of a minimum wage worker is 35.”
“This is America and we got to do better,” she added. “It is an election issue… If you move it to $10.10, it would be a justice for inflation from 1968.”