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Critics Point to Irony as Socialist Bernie Sanders Faces Controversy on $15 Campaign Wages

07-22-2019
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders reports that he plans to cut his staff members hours after they complained they weren't making $15 per hour. He says by cutting their hours, they'll be able to make a higher wage.

The self-proclaimed socialist senator from Vermont has fought for a $15 federal minimum wage. 

But critics have argued that hiking the nation's minimum wage will hurt employers which will be forced to hire fewer employees or decrease their hours, which will then hurt the economy overall with higher unemployment and lower productivity.

The Congressional Budget Office confirms that increasing the federal minimum wage to $10, $12, or $15 per hour by 2025 would upset employment and family income.

Twitter users are pointing out the irony of Sanders trying to push a socialist agenda on America while he's facing battles over not paying his employees what they want. 

A twitter user named "Silence Dogood" said, "We would like to thank @SenSanders for proving the point that conservatives have been trying to make for a while. If you force a $15 MW on businesses, it will lead to job losses and reduction of hours worked."

Fox News reports that Sanders' junior field organizers are paid around $36,000 annually, along with emloyer-paid health care and sick leave. If staffers work more than 40 hours per week, which is common, their salary can drop below $15 per hour.

Sanders said the solution is to "limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 a week to ensure they're making the equivalent of $15 per hour.

Another twitter user named "neontaster" said, "I can't stop thinking of how stupid this is. Limiting hours so you can raise wages has literally no effect on how much your employees make. Only benefit is you being able to say you pay them $15 an hour. Beyond cynical."

And Republican Sen. Ted Cruz poked fun at Sanders saying, "A perfect socialist solution: Bernie (a multi-millionaire) makes $174k/yr. $174k would pay 12 employees, 40 hrs a wk @ $15 /hr, for the rest of 2019. We should just REDISTRIBUTE those $$ to Bernie & 11 other employees. If Bernie doesn't like that, WHY NOT?"

Former AL State Senator Phil Williams, director of policy strategy for the Alabama Policy Institute, tweeted, "There is a deep-rooted irony in the fact that socialist principles don't work in a socialist candidate's campaign to enact socialist policies.....let that sink in. #alpolitics #SocialismKills"

And author Andy Puzder writes, "Bernie Sanders's capitalist actions speak louder than his socialist words. Faced with a $15 hourly wage, the @BernieSanders campaign is do­ing what any rea­son­able em­ployer would: cut­ting em­ployees' hours. Well, of course he is."⁦

Meanwhile, Sanders is reportedly mad about his staffers talking to the media about the minimum wage concerns. "That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it's improper."

In a political ad Sanders told supporters he's still fighting for the socialist "revolution" that he launched in 2016: "Now it's time to complete that revolution and implement the vision we fought for."

Along those lines, Sanders is also proposing a policy aimed at canceling all $1.6 trillion of American student loan debt. 

The proposal calls for hiking taxes to pay off all college debt, including private and graduate school debt, as part of an initiative to make college free in the United States.

Sanders is hoping that 2020 will be his moment, arguing that many of his once-fringe ideas are now accepted by the Democratic Party.

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