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U.S. Senate hopefuls differ slightly on minimum wage

None of the top Republicans running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire wants to increase the federal minimum wage, and one of them wants to get rid of it altogether.

President Obama has made increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 a second-term political priority, and he signed an executive order in February requiring federal contractors to pay their workers at least that much. But many Republicans oppose the increase, including former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, former New Hampshire U.S. senator Bob Smith and former state senator Jim Rubens.

They are among 10 candidates competing in the Sept. 9 Republican primary, with the winner taking on U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in November.

Brown said he supports the minimum wage and has voted for increases in the past, but doesn’t think it should be raised now.

“I believe we should get the input of the employer community before imposing new or higher burdens on them,” he said.

Smith went further, saying, “The federal government has no business dictating what an employer pays an employee in the private marketplace,” while Rubens said increasing the minimum wage would lead to job losses and automation.

A better-targeted Earned Income Tax Credit would do more to lift low-income workers out of poverty than a higher minimum wage, said Rubens.

“Compared with other industrial nations, the U.S. has lost the war on poverty because our spending on anti-poverty programs is poorly targeted and relies more heavily on bureaucratic interventions than direct cash grants that support work and family stability,” he said.

Asked by the Associated Press what Congress could do to address the nation’s growing wealth gap and the middle class, all three called for cutting corporate taxes and reducing burdensome regulations.

Rubens pointed to his six-point plan to increase domestic manufacturing and good-paying jobs, which also includes eliminating federal energy subsidies and repealing the federal health care overhaul law. Brown also said repealing the health law would create an environment that allows businesses to grow, while Smith said he rejects the notion of a “class structure.”

Legacy Comments5

I agree with you Veritas in regards to repealing the ACA. It is law and will in fact play out good or bad. How many insurance companies go along with the program remains to be seen, how narrow the networks are, remains to be seen, and what happens when the employer mandate kicks in remains to be seen. I do know that many have in fact been surprised by what has happened so far in regards to folks being put on part time hours, costs going up for many, and a host of other issues. I also know that the business environment in this country is not good. Folks are not creating new businesses and they also fear the EPA has gone amuk with mandates. Those are the facts. If in fact we want to create a friendly business environment, it appears that is not happening. We make nothing in the US anymore, till that changes, service jobs will rule, and they tend to be low paying jobs.

Eliminating the minimum wage would take us back to Third World wages. Good for corporations, bad for people and for democracy. Health care law repeal is a non-starter, now that the law will have gone beyond the Republican efforts to destroy it in New Hampshire, and every hospital as of the first of the year will have at least three insurers in the pool. These guys are on the wrong end of Back to the Future. It remains a wonder to me that anybody listens to them at all -- apparently the Republican plan to kill education is working.

thank god for the LIDV there is a state minimum wage to protect them from the evil Republicans that want to take formula out of babies mouths, deprive Granny of meds, poison the food stream and pollute every lake and river

Giving away the Republican plans for when they take over the government now are you BPR?

You don't know the half of it.........we plan on sending everyone on the public dole to abject poverty while enriching the Top1% and then we will immediately move to overturn Roe v Wade and take away the right of women to vote. Immediately, we will reinstate child labor abuses and move to pollute every water source on the planet. Yup, that is the plan......and there is more but I would not want to scare you patty.

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