GOP Senator John Thune Is Being Dragged For Basing His Minimum-Wage-Hike Opposition On His Late 1970s Wages

Sen. Bernie Sanders is out there, day after day on the Senate floor, for his fellow Democrats who are working their $15 minimum wage proposal into ongoing stimulus talks. The much maligned Sen. Josh Hawley has introduced his alternative (tax credits), which is actually kind-of surprising since he’s not keeping with the Republicans’ full-on opposition to the hike. That particular perspective is a widespread one within the party and was articulated in a very awkward (and frankly silly) way by Republican Senate Majority Whip John Thune, who posed his (rather tone-deaf) argument on Twitter.

“I started working by bussing tables at the Star Family Restaurant for $1/hour & slowly moved up to cook – the big leagues for a kid like me- to earn $6/hour,” Thune wrote while posting a video speech to claim that $15 per hour would destroy businesses. “Businesses in small towns survive on narrow margins. Mandating a $15 minimum wage would put many of them out of business.”

Thune is 60 years old now, meaning that he’d have been earning $6 per hour (still somehow twice the minimum wage) as a cook in the late 1970s. If one accounted for inflation, that’d work out to over $20 per hour in 2021 dollars.

Bragging about making twice the minimum wage in the late 1970s and arguing about raising the minimum wage now, well, is not a great look.