Following President Obama’s speech this Wednesday, where he was once again pushing for the minimum wage to be increased, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to All In’s Chris Hayes about some of the obstacles he’s facing — including one of the biggest welfare recipients in the nation — Walmart.
HAYES: Why can’t we get a reasonable minimum wage. What is stopping us from getting a $10 minimum wage. Lay it out for me?
SANDERS: Let me tell you something, I don’t want to break the bad news to you. A majority of the Republicans are not only opposed to raising the minimum wage, a majority of the Republicans right now, believe we should abolish the concept of the minimum wage, and if in a city like Detroit or other high unemployment areas, you can get 3, 4, 5 bucks an hour, that would be acceptable to them.
So what you have is a raid against us, a lot of big money interests, a lot of Republicans who do not believe in “government regulation,” which means a minimum wage, and that’s the problem that we have.
HAYES: When you talk about big money, when you’re trying and you’ve been trying, you’ve been working on this issue, i know you support this legislation. You’ve been working on raising the minimum wage. Who is on the other side of the fight? Because this is an intensely lobbied bill in Congress when it does happen. Who is sitting across the table from the Bernie Sanders of the world saying, “Do not raise this” when that fight happens?
SANDERS: Well, companies like Walmart. The Walmart family… here’s an amazing story. The Walmart family is the wealthiest family in this country, worth about $100 billion. owning more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of the American people, and yet here’s the incredible fact.
Because their wages and benefits are so low, they are the major welfare recipients in America, because many, many of their workers depend on Medicaid, depend on food stamps, depend on government subsidies for housing. So, if the minimum wage went up for Walmart, would be a real cut in their profits, but it would be a real savings by the way for taxpayers, who would not having to subsidize Walmart employees because of their low wages.
Source: Crooks and Liars