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.