Sunday, December 18, 2016

Trump's Evolution on the Federal Minimum Wage

Last summer during the Democratic convention (when Hillary Clinton "won" the nomination), in his speech Senator Bernie Sanders said Donald Trump believes that States have the right to lower the minimum wage. But Trump never really advocated for States to LOWER the minimum wage, but only that they should decide if it should go higher than it currently stands. According to Trump's last statement on the subject, he actually thought the U.S. should have "at least" a $10 federal minimum wage.

Trump Minimum Wage

Obama and the Democrats had a majority of seats in both the House and the Senate for two years in 2009 and 2010 — but no Democrat (while they had complete control of the government) had ever proposed raising the federal minimum wage (George W. Bush was the last President to raise the federal minimum wage).

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour might barely be a "living wage" in the State of Mississippi (which has the lowest cost-of-living of all 50 States) — but $7.25 an hour would definitely be a "poverty wage" in cities such as Honolulu, San Francisco and New York City. (No, it's no longer just teenagers working summer jobs anymore; it's grown adults with children working more than one job who are earning these type of wages now.)

In the State of Hawaii (the most expensive State to live) the state minimum wage went to $7.75 per hour beginning January 1, 2015; $8.50 per hour beginning January 1, 2016; $9.25 per hour beginning January 1, 2017; and. $10.10 per hour beginning January 1, 2018.

In the State of New York, for large businesses (those with at least 11 employees) in New York City, the minimum wage would rise to $11 at the end of 2016, then another $2 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2018.

  • For workers in New York City employed by small businesses (those with 10 employees or fewer), the minimum wage would rise to $10.50 by the end of 2016, then another $1.50 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2019.
  • For workers in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage would increase to $10 at the end of 2016, then $1 each year after, reaching $15 on 12/31/2021.
  • For workers in the rest of the state, the minimum wage would increase to $9.70 at the end of 2016, then another .70 each year after until reaching $12.50 on 12/31/2020 – after which will continue to increase to $15 on an indexed schedule.

The State of California (the nation's largest state by population) bumped up its minimum to $10 an hour in 2016. A number of California cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have started phasing in minimum wage increases to $15 per hour.

The State of Mississippi does not have a state minimum wage, so the Federal Minimum Wage is applicable to all businesses by default. Federal Minimum Wage: $7.25/hour (Tipped Wage earners: $2.13/hour)

* FYI: The price of a combo meal in a fast food restaurant (such as a Big Mac meal or similar) is $9 in Honolulu, $8 in San Francisco and New York City, and $7 Mississippi.

Three years ago in 2013, Obama and most of the Democrats (excluding 6 members in the House) belatedly supported a federal minimum wage of $10.10/hour (after they had already lost the Senate and House, and knowing the GOP would never propose such a wage hike). In 2014, Obama signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour for all workers on federal construction and service contracts.

During the election campaign Senator Bernie Sanders demanded a federal minimum wage of $15/hour (indexed to inflation for cost-of-living increases). Hillary Clinton said she "favored" a federal minimum wage of $12/hour.

Trump on Federal Minimum Wage: How Trump has evolved in his answers...

  • In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" (August 20, 2015) Trump said, "Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country."
  • During the Republican debate in Milwaukee (November 10, 2015) Trump said wages are "too high" and, when asked whether he would raise the minimum wage, said, "I would not do it."
  • Trump told NBC's "MEET THE PRESS" host Chuck Todd (May 8, 2016) "I would say let the states decide."
  • On ABC’s "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos (May 8, 2016) "I am looking at it and I haven't decided in terms of numbers. But I think people have to get more." When Stephanopoulos asked whether that’s a change, Trump answered, "Well, sure it's a change. I'm allowed to change. You need flexibility."
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at the Democratic convention (July 25, 2016) - "He [Trump] believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7 and a quarter."
  • Politifact rated Bernie Sanders claim as "Mostly True" — but it's not — and might only be half true. Trump was only saying that if States [or cities] want to raise the minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, then he believes the States should decide (because they compete with one another — and because the cost-of-living varies so much from one State to another).
  • Not long afterwards at a press conference (July 27, 2016) Trump responded to a question about raising the federal minimum wage higher, and said it should go higher — and that Bernie Sanders was a "liar" — and that he DID NOT want to see the federal minimum wage go lower. Trump also said he'd like to raise the federal minimum wage to "at least" $10 an hour.

* IMHO: I would like to think that after touring the country during his campaign rallies, Trump has realized just how bad off the American worker has been, and has become more sympathetic to their plight. On a couple occasions during his rallies, he has said that the campaign has changed him.

I propose $11.00 an hour as the new federal minimum wage (which is a compromise between the current federal minimum wage, the Democrat's earlier proposals, what Clinton said she "favors", and what Sanders had the #Fightfor15 movement had demanded) — and then it should be indexed to inflation to once and for all end any future debates about raising the federal minimum wage, and then just let the cities and States decide if they want to raise it higher based on their own local economies (such as Hawaii vs. Mississippi).

Video embedded below: In Trump's own words, and what he's said about the federal minimum wage.

Regarding Donald Trump's rallies, both before (his campaign rallies) and after the general election (his Thank You rallies)

(July 12, 2015) Trump draws 5,000 to his FIRST rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

(August 21, 2015) 30,000 turn out for Trump's Mobile Alabama rally

(November 13, 2016) Donald Trump clearly worked harder than Hillary the past three and a half months with 132 rallies to Clinton’s 63 and it paid off with the election win. Also, he entertained nearly 1 million supporters at his rallies to Clinton’s 110,000.

(December 17, 2016) President-Elect Donald J. Trump's LAST rally on his "Thank You Tour 2016" at the Ladd–Peebles Stadium. Jake Seales (Joe Seales brother) plays "American Dreamer" at the end.)

(December 17, 2016) Trump wraps up the last of his rowdy 'Thank You' rallies in Alabama

(December 17, 2016) Size Does Matter: Since Election 100% More Participation at Trump Rallies than at Hillary’s

Trump's USA Thank You 2016 Tour: President-elect Donald Trump toured the country to say thank you to all those who helped get him elected. These are all of the USA Thank You events that occurred with links to the full events...

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2016 – CINCINNATI, OH at the US Bank Arena - 6 pm ET -
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2016 – FAYETTEVILLE, NC at the Crown Coliseum – 7:00pm ET –
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2016 – DES MOINES, IA at the Iowa Events Center – 7pm CT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016 – BATON ROUGE, LA at the Dow Chemical Hangar – 10am CT -
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 09, 2016 – GRAND RAPIDS, MI at the Deltaplex Arena – 7pm ET -
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2016 – WEST ALLIS, WI at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center – 7pm CT -
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2016 – HERSHEY, PA at the Giant Arena – 7pm ET -
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2016 – ORLANDO, FL t the Orlando Amphitheater – 7pm ET -
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2016 – MOBILE, AL at the Ladd–Peebles Stadium – 3p CT -
* RSBN links to all of Trump's events and rallies during his campaign prior to the election -


  1. Just look at his cabinet picks and tell me you aren't in a dream world. He will never increase the federal minimum wage.

    1. It's a long shot to be sure (especially with a GOP congress), but maybe he'll "make a deal" with his people to get something passed as a compromise for something that THEY really want (like tax cuts).

  2. Bernie Sanders thinks that Trump and his billionaire cabinet is going to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    1. If Trump cuts Social Security and Medicare, his own supporters will revolt.

  3. Where Andy Puzder, Trump’s Labor Pick, Stands On Automation, Minimum Wage And Hot Models

    Trump Taps Anti-Worker Fast-Food CEO for Labor Secretary

    1. I know. Let's just hope Trump had a change of heart and saw the ghost of Christmas past and changed his mind about workers after seeing all the closed factories while he was campaigning.

  4. We can kiss goodbye to the hope of higher wages for low skilled jobs. That said, Trump is not stupid. I believe he is planning to unleash lots of high paying jobs in the energy, construction and infrastructure sectors and the supporting manufacturing industries.

    1. Hopefully the Cities and States will do more to raise their minimum wages.