Tom Coburn: I Don’t Believe There Should Be A National Minimum Wage

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ranking member Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., asks a question of a witness during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, to examine the... Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ranking member Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., asks a question of a witness during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, to examine the physical security of Federal Buildings following the Navy Yard tragedy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) MORE LESS
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Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said Thursday that he doesn’t believe there should be a national minimum wage.

Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to block debate on legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Coburn was asked whether he thought the current minimum wage of $7.25 was sufficient.

“I don’t believe you ought to interfere in the market. My theory is if Oklahomans want a minimum wage, we ought to have it,” he said. “I don’t believe there ought to be a national minimum wage.”

Coburn said Democrats’ argument that not raising the minimum wage does an injustice to hard-working Americans is “malarkey.”

“The fact is if you look at the OMB studies and you look at the good economic models, the benefit is small. The cost of lost jobs is great,” he added. “It goes against the free market principle … We don’t know what the minimum wage should be. How’d they pick $10.10? Why not $22? Why not $100?”

The Oklahoma senator and physician was also asked whether a botched execution this week in his home state changed his view on the death penalty. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) ordered a review of the state’s execution procedures in the wake of the incident, in which an inmate died of a heart attack 43 minutes after his execution began.

“I’d say I’ve given it a lot of thought. I still think it has a deterrent capability,” Coburn said of the death penalty. “I don’t like it. I wish we put everybody that had such a history as this gentleman behind bars, working and doing things that would help them. But I haven’t changed my position.”

Coburn said statistics don’t bear out the perception that executions are frequently botched.

“It’s an unfortunate thing, but any time you’re doing something with a body, things can go wrong,” he said. “This leads to the discussion about the death penalty and whether or not that in and of itself is appropriate and then whether you can do that humanely.”

This post has been updated.

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Notable Replies

  1. I don’t think we ought to pay Congressmen. They should do the work for love of their country.

  2. Avatar for enon enon says:

    i love how coburn is just given whatever time he needs to spout his talking points without any challenge whatsoever from the panel. and now up is booby woodward with his big reveal how obama is so isolated and distant from senate democrats and scrambling to make nice to keep the senate majority.
    oh yeah … and… scarbro went on a rant about BENGHAZIBENGHAZIBENGHAZI…

  3. Avatar for enon enon says:

    i was thinking about that… how about a petition to adjust congressional pay based on the days they actually work – not fundraising; not on those ‘fact-finding’ (taxpayer funded) excursions they routinely take – but actual days in session. or perhaps based upon their presence at hearings and votes.

  4. Same song, different year.
    I can remember arguing with a right winger during the Bush years about this issue - over 7 years ago. Republicans don’t believe there should be a minimum standard in getting hourly wages. And they sure as hell don’t think it should ever be raised.

    Why the public accepts this, I’ll never understand.

  5. And yet $174,000 a year is too little pay for these poor, poor bastards.

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