Raese eyes abolishment of minimum wage

RAESE EYES ABOLISHMENT OF MINIMUM WAGE…. There are a few too many Republican U.S. Senate candidates this year intent on lowering — or perhaps even eliminating — the federal minimum wage, but none seem quite as excited about it as West Virginia’s John Raese.

[T]he Republican candidate for Senate in West Virginia is also taking aim at the policies of another Democratic President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

John Raese’s beef with FDR? The minimum wage, first signed into law by FDR as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

“The minimum wage is something that FDR put in place a long time ago during the Great Depression,” Raese told ABC News Top Line. “I don’t think it worked then. It didn’t solve any problems then and it hasn’t solved any problems in 50 years.” […]

Asked if the federally mandated minimum wage should be abolished, Raese answered, “absolutely.”

As a substantive matter, the notion that the minimum wage has failed to help American workers is pretty silly — the law has kept millions of working folks out of poverty for decades. Leaving this to the free market just wasn’t good enough.

But I’m especially interested in the politics of this. Here we have an extremely wealthy conservative, who got rich through a family inheritance, rather than through actual work. He leads “a lavish lifestyle” that’s included “over 15 cars, boats and motorcycles, a home in Florida where his family lives full-time and where, records show, he paved the driveway with marble in 2008 as the economy was nosediving.”

And when taking his message to voters — who live in a state where the median household income is less than $38,000 — Raese insists voters send him to the Senate so he can fight to lower inheritance taxes on multi-millionaires, and eliminate the minimum wage altogether.

Are West Virginians really persuaded by this? Seriously?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.