Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly during an interview on Fox News last night discussing the Democratic National Convention talked about the federal minimum wage.
Bill O’Reilly: “What’s your vision for federal minimum wage? How much?”
Donald Trump: “Well (Bernie Sanders) lied last night. It was a total lie and everybody said it. In fact some of the folks on your network said “wow, that was really a lie.” He said I wanted to go less than minimum wage and that is a new one because I am the one Republican who said in some cases we have to go more than minimum wage.
O’Reilly: “Well, give me a number.”
Trump: “No, let me give you a concept because I think it is a good concept. You go with the states, you let the states make the determination because if you take New York it is very expensive to live in New York, and they need more than 7, 8, 9 dollars. So you go with the states.”
O’Reilly: “But states already have the authority now to do that, but there has to be a federal minimum wage.”
Trump: :They do, they do.”
O’Reilly: “What would you set the federal minimum wage at?”
Trump: “It doesn’t have to be, while I would leave it and raise it somewhat. You need to help people, and I know it is not very Republican to say…”
O’Reilly: “Well, ten bucks? Ten?”
Trump: “I would say ten. I would say ten, but with the understanding that someone like me is going to bring back jobs. I don’t want people to be in that ten dollar category for very long. But the thing is Bill, let the states make the deal.”
O’Reilly: “Well they do have the right to do that now.”
Compare this to what Trump had to say when asked about raising the minimum wage to $15/hour during the Fox Business Network/Wall Street Journal Republican debate on November, 10, 2015.
Trump: …”Taxes are too high, wages too high, we are not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out out, they have to work really hard, and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we can not do this if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.
Neil Cavuto: “So you would not raise the minimum wage?”
Trump: “I would not raise the minimum.”
My how things change in just a few short months. Look, Trump started off his conversation with O’Reilly well saying raising minimum wage should be left to the states. He is absolutely correct. Since the cost of living is different in each state, and even different towns within a state, it is far better to let local and state government make this decision than try to implement a one-size-fits-all approach.
Ultimately the free market should determine these things, but I don’t see anyone eliminating the minimum wage so the best thing to do is let states decide if they will raise it or not. Then he mischaracterizes Republicans. Helping people is not a Republican thing to say? Really?
Republicans are not against helping people. They just want to see that help come from individuals and charities, not government. Trump is all about government helping people, it was a primary theme running through his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week.
He loses the federalism argument when he acquiesces on the federal minimum wage.