Save Jersey has relentlessly argued that hiking New Jersey minimum wage is a terrible, economically-catastrophic idea.
The free enterprise system created America’s Middle Class. Continued government tinkering in the free market has brought mean wage earners to their knees and sent job creators scurrying for cover. It’s a lesson that’s as old as the Pilgrims.
Politicians are slow learners. S-3/A-2162 (in case you’ve forgotten or are tuning in for the first time) would raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour all in one shot while simultaneously coupling future minimum wage hikes to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Automatic increases! [Clarification: S-3 is statutory; SRC117 is "via constitutional amendment."] A small business owner’s worst nightmare come to life…
Americans for Prosperity state director Steve Lonegan concurs; he participated in the public comment portion of yesterday’s Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee session:
Interestingly, Republican state Senator Joe Pennacchio is pushing a counter-proposal which would increase the minimum wage to $8.50 but over three years and without the automatic CPI increases enshrined in our state constitution.
That worries me, Save Jerseyans.
Pennacchio is an arch-conservative. Is his proposal a concession that an increase is imminent? Translated: the Governor might sign onto such an increase? And/or the GOP legislative caucus doesn’t intend to attack the substance of a minimum wage hike? Only the procedureal mechanism(s)? I don’t have the answers, but I’m not liking what I’m hearing…
Mark my words: a Trenton Republican failure to fight any increase whatsoever will doom the state party in next year’s legislative elections. There’s frankly no room for “compromise” when compromise means destroying what’s left of our state’s fragile job market.