Reacting to Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) calling for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $20 an hour, Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt insisted on Tuesday that minimum wage jobs were meant to give workers a start in the workforce before falsely claiming that fast-food workers supplement their incomes with tips.
Following the House of Representatives passing a bill last week that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour, Tlaib said that due to the price of goods and services, the true minimum wage should be “$18 to $20 an hour at this point.” She also blasted the federally mandated minimum wage for tipped workers, which is currently set at $2.13 an hour.
Discussing Tlaib’s remarks on Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy seemed genuinely surprised about tipped workers’ wages, saying he “did not realize” that their minimum wage was $2.13 an hour before saying Tlaib wants to exponentially increase it. He then used a presidential contender’s campaign to make a point.
“However, as we heard from Bernie Sanders in the last 48 hours or so,” Doocy stated. “He will start paying his employees $15 an hour, but he will have to cut back their hours because they cannot afford it.”
Earhardt chimed in, asserting that small businesses can’t afford minimum wage increases before claiming they would engage in widespread firings in wages went up significantly. Doocy, meanwhile, highlighted Congressional Budget Office estimates that showed there was a chance that increasing the minimum wage could impact unemployment.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade then waxed nostalgic about his time as a busboy, saying it was “one of the best jobs” he could have breaking in because “you work hard” and “you get great tips,” adding that any paycheck you get at that point is a bonus. He also had some advice to those not earning enough from one job.
"If one job doesn’t pay enough, guess what you do, you, you get another job,” he exclaimed. “That’s what you do in your twenties. Having two part-time jobs while going to school is something people have done since the turn of the last century.”
Earhardt, meanwhile, piggybacked on Kilmeade’s commentary while adding some questionable “facts” of her own.
“Minimum wage job is not meant to be a career—it’s meant to help you get a start,” she said. “We were in high school or college when I was waiting tables. Most of those people, at very fine restaurants, that is their career, but they make tons of money.”
She continued: “If you’re working at McDonald’s or a small little restaurant where you're making tips, you are right. If you are nice to the people, you make a lot of money."
Needless to say, workers at McDonald’s or other similar fast-food restaurants generally don’t make tips.
This isn’t the first time that Earhardt has made an embarrassing on-air gaffe. Last summer, she defended America’s greatness by saying the United States “defeated communist Japan” in World War II.