Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Tuesday that the minimum wage, which his administration has opposed increasing, "doesn't serve a purpose."
Asked whether there should be any minimum wage at all, Walker replied, "I’m not going to repeal it, but I don’t think it serves a purpose," explaining that “I want people to get jobs that make two or three times that.”
The Tea Party governor's comments come a week after his administration deemed $7.25 an hour, the minimum wage in Wisconsin at the federal level, a "living wage." As ThinkProgress notes, researchers have calculated that an actual living wage in the state capitol of Madison would be at least $21 per hour.
While Walker professes to seek better-paying jobs for his state's workers and asserts that the minimum wage serves no real purpose, a wage increase would boost the livelihoods of many of his state's workers. The University of Wisconsin’s Center on Wisconsin Strategy finds that if the minimum wage were raised to just $10.10, more than 500,000 Wisconsinites would see pay increases. Moreover, 57 percent of Wisconsin workers affected would be women, and 87 percent would be age 20 or older. Mary Burke, Walker's Democratic opponent, supports raising the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over a two-year period.
Recent polls show that the race between Walker and Burke is a dead heat.
Watch Walker's comments on the minimum wage here, via ThinkProgress: