Bill O’Reilly isn’t the first name you think of when you think about people who might want to see an increase in the minimum wage, but perceptions can be deceiving.
In a memo from November 7, O’Reilly encouraged Republicans to establish control with their new win by raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour.
“That will encourage young people to get into the market place and other folks to get off the dole; $10 an hour [is] not going to break anyone. And with the corporate income tax cut, the minimum wage rise will not affect profits. Also the Republican Party will be seen as helping people who don’t have much money. That’s an image changer. The capital gains tax should also be cut to 15 percent. That encourages private investments and more money flows into the marketplace.”
For Bill O’Reilly and much of the country, judging by last Tuesday’s election results, Republicans are the key to improving the economy after a sluggish eight-year ride under Democratic Congressional control and six years of President Obama.
O’Reilly says as much elsewhere in his piece.
“Did you know that about 70 percent of all American workers earn less than $50,000 a year? Did you know that? I didn’t know that,” O’Reilly said. “That means the folks are struggling. They are living in a very insecure way. They have little savings and if they get sick it’s a disaster. Educating their children? A huge financial burden. As is saving for retirement. So priority number one is to stimulate the economy so that workers make more money.”
“President Obama is clueless when it comes to that. His policies in those of the Democratic Party have constrained private industry. There’s little expansion no wage improvement. In fact the Democrats lost this week because take home pay has gone down on President Obama’s watch. That’s what the election was all about.”
Part of O’Reilly’s views on a minimum wage increase are likely colored by red state voters, who approved hikes at the same time they were voting Democrats out of office.
“There is a lot of economic insecurity out there, and this issue resonates with people,” said John Whaley, director of research for the California polling firm of Goodwin Simon in comments to SFGate. “When people hear that a CEO of a company makes 400 times as much as the lowest-paid worker, people feel that. It’s not an ideological issue.”
Do you think Bill O’Reilly is right about increasing the minimum wage to $10 per hour?
[Image via The O’Reilly Factor screengrab]