Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) has upped the ante in the fight for a higher minimum wage, telling attendees at a One Fair Wage event that the federal minimum wage should actually be $20 per hour, not $15 as is currently being pushed by the Democratic Party.
One Fair Wage is a nonprofit organization that advocates for higher minimum wage for tipped employees.
What’s the news?
“Big fights like this one, $15—by the way, when we started it, it should’ve been $15. Now I think it should be $20. Make sure America Rising hears that.” Tlaib said. “It should be $20 an hour—$18-20 an hour, because everything all the costs—they say all this is going to raise the costs. I can tell you this: Milk has gone up. Eggs have gone up. Everything has gone up, the cost of things has gone up. The cost of food has gone up. The cost of a lot of things that we need has gone up already.”
The House of Representatives just passed the Raise the Wage Act, a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour incrementally over the course of six years.
Rashida Tlaib Calls for $20 Federal Minimum Wage
Why does it matter?
Although the Raise the Wage Act passed the House, it’s not going to pass in a Republican-controlled Senate. In short, there’s no chance right now of a $15 federal minimum wage. Still, Tlaib is pushing the debate further by moving the bar to $20 an hour.
Her argument about the price of milk and eggs going up is dubious, as the Free Beacon details, but even if that was the case, that doesn’t change the fact that an even higher minimum wage would make that problem worse.
The argument in favor of a $15 minimum wage took a hit last week when the Bernie Sanders campaign responded to staffers demanding $15 per hour by cutting their hours to make it average out to that amount. While it would be nice if upping the minimum wage just resulted in everyone having more money, even a vocal advocate of the policy clearly understands that’s not how things work.
The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that while a $15 minimum wage would pull more than a million people out of poverty, it would also come at the cost of 1.3 million jobs. How much more problematic would $20 be?
This is a recurring tactic from Democratic politicians: They will propose something that is either impossible or damaging to the economy, but because it sounds good they can then frame those who oppose it on reasonable grounds as the bad guys. And as they compete with each other to propose policies that sound better than the last, the Democratic Party’s vision for the country becomes more unrealistic.