Tags: minimum | wage | jobs | poverty

Tom Harkin: 'Goofy' to Think Minimum Wage Hike Will Hurt Jobs

Friday, 07 Feb 2014 11:52 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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It's just "goofy stuff" to suggest that increasing the minimum wage will lead to cuts in  workers' hours or reduced hiring, Sen. Tom Harkin told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday.

"That's nuts. That's just goofy stuff," the Iowa Democrat said Friday, in answer to a question.

"It's been estimated that by giving 28 million Americans this kind of a raise, that it will stimulate the economy, provide more jobs, and have GDP growth," he countered.

Harkin co-sponsored a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, which he said would bring it to just above the poverty level for a full-time worker.

He said the effort would help stimulate the economy, because minimum-wage workers "tend to spend that money."

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"They shop, and they buy things," he said. "People shouldn't work every day, and we're talking about people that work a full-time job, and make a poverty wage."

Harkin explained the data showed the majority of minimum-wage workers were adults, not teenagers, as some opponents suggested. He said more than half were women and were the "sole breadwinners of their families."

There would be the votes "when push comes to shove" to pass his bill in the Senate, Harkin predicted.

"All the polls show that overwhelmingly the American people think we should increase the minimum wage," he said. "Even among Republicans, they are in favor of raising the minimum wage. People get it."

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