Sen. Johnson Addresses Minimum Wage

By Evan Kruegel, Local 5 News

Published 02/18 2014 09:49PM

Updated 02/18 2014 11:19PM

Inside the Appleton Public Library, the discussion was intense. Senator Johnson addressed the government debt, the social security deficit, and Americans in poverty. But the hot topic was the concept of raising the federal minimum wage.

        "People need money okay?" said one constituent. "People need money to buy consumer goods that create jobs. If you don't want to raise the minimum wage, you can expect things to continually decline."

The discussion came on the heels of new estimates released by the Congressional Budget Office, saying raising the minimum wage would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers.

        "The problem is when you increase the minimum wage, you're going to reduce the number of entry level positions that give individuals the first rung on that ladder of opportunity," said Johnson. "And I just don't think you should be doing that"

But President Obama says corporations are booming, while average wages have barely budged. Last week the President signed an executive order raising the future minimum wage for U.S government contract workers to $10.10.

        "You've got too many Americans working harder than ever before just to get by," he said. "But they can't seem to get ahead."

Johnson says the good intention, has negative repercussions.

        "There are better ways of addressing a livable wage and hopefully raising people out of poverty than destroying job opportunities by increasing the minimum wage," he says. 

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