GOP Rep. To Fast Food Worker: Raising The Minimum Wage ‘Not Right’ (VIDEO)

A Florida congressman told a concerned fast food worker Tuesday at a town hall that raising the minimum wage is “not right.”

ThinkProgress reported that Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) said raising the minimum wage would “do more harm to our economy than anything” when a constituent who said he worked at Arby’s asked whether he would support President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase the minimum wage.

“I’m not suggesting that we do away with the minimum wage, that’s not it at all,” Ross said in video of the town hall recorded by ThinkProgress. “But the minimum wage is not a career wage. It’s a wage to pay to make sure workers aren’t taken advantage of by business owners. But if we are going to make it a living wage, who’s going to pay for it? Who’s going to pay for it?”

That prompted one audience member to chime in saying that he’d pay an extra 20 cents for a hamburger, drawing applause from the crowd. The Arby’s worker then challenged Ross to “take a walk in my shoes” for a day.

“I’m actually working every day. So why wouldn’t you support it?” the constituent asked.

“Because it’s not right. Economically, it’s not right,” Ross responded. “It does more harm to our economy.”

“If the government’s going to tell me how much I can get paid and when I can work and when I can’t work, then we’ve got a serious problem in this country,” he added later.

Watch the exchange below, courtesy of Think Progress:

Image via Youtube

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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