Debating last night in Cedar Rapids, the Democratic and Republican candidates to replace incumbent Bruce Braley in Congress sparred over issues ranging from immigration and Middle East foreign policy to the nation’s minimum wage.
Comments on raising the minimum wage were perhaps the testiest exchange between Republican Rod Blum and Democrat Pat Murphy.
Blum, while admitting the Middle Class is stressed, says creating jobs is the answer. He says states should set their own minimum wage because of differing economies and standards of living among the states, saying: “Prosperity can’t be legislated." He cites Congressional Budget Office estimates that raising the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour would cost 500,000 jobs, shocking the nation’s economy.
Democrat Murphy, citing his proposal in the Iowa legislature for increasing Iowa’s minimum wage, says: “If you want to live the American dream, if you want to work hard and play by the rules, you can’t do it at $7.25 an hour. If you raise it to $10.10 an hour, 28 thousand Iowa families go off food stamps.”
Republican Blum says Democrats want to be talking about raising the minimum wage because they don’t want to be talking about how bad this economy is.