CNN host S.E. Cupp must not be familiar with the ins and outs of debating Robert Reich. Apparently she thought that she could throw talking points at him and hold her own in a debate — but she embarrassed herself.
After saying that she welcomes having the President join the discussion on income inequality and making the assertion that Republicans have been talking about the problem for years, Cupp listed off all of the things that government is “forcing” on businesses that are harming the economy and which are actually responsible for the inequality.
“You would suggest that we force employers to raise wages, force union participation, raise taxes on the top job creators, and force employers to cut off hiring at 50 employees to avoid Obamacare mandates,” Cupp said. “How is that a job recipe for job creation?”
Reich, in his usual calm manner, simply pointed out to her that we have had a minimum wage in this country since 1935 and it has not hurt the economy yet.
“Raising the minimum wage is good for the country. It puts more money in the pockets of people,” he said. “Sixty-five percent of Americans want to raise the minimum wage. Most minimum-wage workers these days are not teenagers; they are breadwinners. If you help them, you are helping the economy overall. And a lot of employers will benefit from a higher minimum wage.”
Reich continued, explaining that had the minimum wage merely kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.40 today and that when you factor in the increase in productivity, it would be $15.
“Still forcing employers to raise wages,” Cupp shot back.
Possibly realizing that she was in over her head, she handed off to former governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty (R) who said that he thinks we would be better off listening to employers rather than economists.
“There’s a consistent answer from those folks about what they want,” the former governor said. “They basically say to government, ‘Do things to encourage me, not discourage me. Make the load lighter, not heavier.’ That includes things like taxation, like energy policy, like healthcare policy and more. But they’re basically saying, ‘Don’t do things to make my life more difficult, more expensive, more bureaucratic, more inefficient.”
Reich responded by pointing out that businesses add employees when the demand for their goods goes up. He added that when there is a strong middle class and when people have more money in their pockets, they spend that money on the goods being produced — thereby creating jobs.
Watch the segment from Wednesday night’s Crossfire in the video below.