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La Crosse County GOP chairman speaks out against $15 minimum wage proposal

Kaitlyn Riley

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A push by President Joe Biden would more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15, but the La Crosse County Republican Party Chairman argues the idea will not work for America’s economy.

Biden added the measure to his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, but the president admitted the measure is not likely to survive Congress. La Crosse County Republican Party Chair Bill Feehan said the concept would go against America’s free enterprise system.

“We don’t allow a handful of people at the top of our government to tell us how much we are going to make and how much we are going to charge for it,” Feehan said. “We certainly can’t let them tell us how much we’re going to pay people to do these jobs.”

Feehan said the jobs that pay $7.25 an hour are not intended to be careers that support families. If eventually businesses are forced to double wages for employees, it would increase prices for all goods and services and put jobs in jeopardy.

“If you have a fast-food restaurant, instead of paying someone minimum wage to work the counter, you just replace them with a computer screen,” Feehan said. ” The overall cost to the economy will be greater than the increase in income for the winners. There are going to be more losers in the economy than winners.”

Additionally, Feehan noted that while not all full-time positions pay $15 an hour, benefits such as health or dental insurance add value to the overall salary.

“If you incorporate your benefits, that could be another $5 an hour for your health insurance, and you don’t have to pay any taxes on that health insurance, so it is even more valuable than that,” he said.

Feehan made those comments during his latest episode of Fact Check, an editorial podcast that can be found online.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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