Fight Against $15: Democrats Push To Repeal Minimum Wage Hike In Nation’s Capital
“Fight for $15” is the rallying cry for most Democrats these days. But soon after Washington, D.C., voters approved a hike in tipped wages to $15, Democrats on the city council moved to repeal it. That’s what happens when ideology crashes into reality.
On Tuesday, 7 of the 13 members of Washington’s city council sponsored a bill to jettison the wage hike for tipped workers that 56% of D.C. voters had approved by a ballot initiative less than a month before.
Under Initiative 77, the workers would see their minimum wage climb from the current $3.89 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, erasing the difference between tipped and nontipped workers.
Keep in mind that D.C. is about as heavily Democratic as you can get. It went for Hillary Clinton by a 91%-4% margin.
But the D.C. council members came to understand what economists — and D.C. restaurant workers themselves — already know. Sharp increases in the minimum wage will cost lost hours, lost jobs and lost income. (The unemployment rate is over 9% in D.C.’s poorer wards.)
Not only would the wage hike pretty much eliminate tips — why tip when the waiter is already making as much as everyone else? — it would almost certainly make workers who keep their jobs worse off financially, since they’d have to pay taxes on every dollar of income.