Romney has supported automatic minimum wage increases since 2002 when he ran for governor of Massachusetts. And for the first time in his political career, he's not backing away from his past.
From the Associated Press yesterday:
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney renewed his support Wednesday for automatic increases in the federal minimum wage to keep pace with inflation, a position sharply at odds with traditional GOP business allies, conservatives and the party's senior lawmakers.
This is going to explode right winger heads just as Romney seems to be clinching the nomination.
Romney instantly tool flak from the Club for Growth, which responded with "Indexing the minimum wage would be an absolute job killer. It's anti-growth."
Newt Gingrich is also calling the proposal "a very dangerous idea."
"Any minimum wage increase will significantly affect the bottom line of the nation's small business owners," said Chamber of Commerce vice president Bruce Josten.
Currently the minimum wage in ten states are indexed to inflation: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. The idea is generally favored by unions and Democrats.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or about $15,000 a year full-time. If $15k*CPI is what's preventing people from hiring, we've got bigger problems than minimum wage. I commend Romney here for at least not backing down on his own position, knowing this hurts him with the base.
I'm not quite ready for this country to have a labor market like that of China where the minimum wage is $0.25 an hr and a 2bdrm condo costs $100,000. It's absolutely foolish to try to outdo China on the basis of cheap labor. This is a one-way ticket to Third World status.