There could be all kinds of reasons that Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has declined an invitation from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to join him in a public forum on raising the minimum wage. Here’s what Trumka wrote in a letter to DeMint on March 11:
It is clear that the AFL-CIO and the Heritage Foundation have starkly contrasting opinions on this crucial issue. I think that the public would find an in-depth conversation between the two of us to be illuminating about what is at stake for our nation.
Maybe it’s because DeMint might be uncomfortable defending his position in favor of repealing the minimum wage. Maybe he doesn’t want to talk about what America would look like without any minimum wage at all. Sen. DeMint: Is there any wage too low to pay an American worker? A dollar an hour? A nickel?
Maybe DeMint doesn’t want to draw more attention to the Koch brothers’ call to repeal minimum wage laws. Why might he be concerned? Maybe because of the nearly $3 million Heritage has received from various Koch-controlled foundations and the recent $500,000 donation from the Kochs to the Heritage Action Fund? Just asking.
Or maybe DeMint might be a little hesitant to talk about his own somewhat generous compensation. You see, while he’s against giving a minimum raise to millions of low-wage workers, the former U.S. senator parlayed his 14 years as a Washington insider into a maximum raise for himself. While Heritage won’t release DeMint’s compensation, we do know that his predecessor at Heritage pulled down more than $1 million a year, according to the Washington Post. That’s the kind of raise he can support.
Or maybe DeMint doesn’t want to debate because he might have to answer if he really believes what Heritage’s chief economist Stephen Moore recently told a Tea Party Patriots convention. Moore, more or less, defined the difference between them and us when he whined:
In America there’s only one group you can legally discriminate against in America anymore: rich people.
Here's where we all LOL!
Or maybe it’s just because it’s a no-win situation for DeMint and Heritage. The conservative claim that “raising the minimum wage kills jobs" is not backed by the evidence. A recent survey of small businesses found they overwhelmingly support raising the wage. Most people support increasing the minimum wage—72% to 27%, including a majority of Republicans, who support it 52% to 45%, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.
If he changes his mind, we’ll let you know.