Donald Trump’s Big Switch

Date: May 06, 2016 Last Edit: June 03, 2016

The GOP hopeful said he was “looking at” increasing the minimum wage—a dangerous prospect for small business.

“I’m very different from most Republicans,” Donald Trump said in a May 4 interview with CNN

That we all knew. His comments about minimum wage, however, have surprised many.


After months of saying he’d keep wages where they are—and at other times saying he thinks the current wage is even too high—Trump told CNN that he was “looking at” increasing the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. “I mean you have to have something that you can live on,” Trump said. “But what I’m really looking to do is get people great jobs so they can make much more money than that, much more money than the $15.” 

“If you start playing around too much with that lower level number, you are not going to be competitive,” Trump said. He went on to reiterate “that he’s ‘open to doing something’ with the federal minimum wage,” as The Hill reported

This “shift came as he moves toward the general election in which he will need to drastically reduce his negative ratings,” The New York Times reported. 

The interview occurred one day after Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Trump’s last opponent, dropped out of the Republican primary race, leaving Trump to be the likely GOP nominee

The Consequences of a Minimum Wage Hike 

If these proposed minimum wage hikes do occur, it’ll come at a cost for small businesses that are looking to hire. 

“Mandates like the minimum wage destroy job opportunities, forever,” wrote NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg in his Forbes column against a minimum wage increase. “The higher the government sets the hurdle a worker must clear to justify being employed, the fewer the number of jobs that will be provided.” 

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who will likely go head-to-head with Trump in the general election, decidedly favors a minimum wage hike.

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Related Content: Analysis | Elections | Minimum Wage | National

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