Moneybox

The GOP Tweeted That Elizabeth Warren Will “Raise Taxes to Increase the Minimum Wage.” See What’s Wrong There?

An Asian elephant sprays himself with mud at Berlin's Zoologischer Garten Zoo.
An elephant sometimes forgets how the minimum wage works.
John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

So, the dark elves who run the Republican Party’s official Twitter account decided to tweet about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign plans. See if you can spot the problem.

Raise taxes to increase the minimum wage? That … that is not how anything works. Anywhere. I mean, maybe in some hyperattenuated philosophical sense—a pay increase at McDonald’s might make your Big Mac more expensive, which is kind of like a tax hike if you squint at it in the right light, perhaps after a few glasses of wine and a puff on whatever is in your vape pen. But raising the minimum wage does not actually require taxing anybody. Certainly not everyday Americans. You could raise taxes to increase wage subsidies, like the earned income tax credit. But the minimum wage is literally just a minimum wage. The IRS is not involved.

I am not the first person to notice this tweet. People have been mocking it at least since 11:14 p.m. last night. Yet it is still up. More than 5,000 people have liked it. And so I am left with questions. Are there actually living, breathing Republicans who believe the minimum wage is a tax hike? Are Republicans test-running some new anti–minimum wage messaging, where they’re just going to Trumpishly flout observable reality and insist it involves a tax increas? Does anybody at GOP social media HQ actually read the things they write?

In related news, Tucker Carlson of all people is now saying nice things about Warren’s “economic nationalism” agenda, which he says sounds like “Trump at his best,” and maybe tells you something about the broad appeal of her ideas. Perhaps the GOP should stop offering her free advertising? If they keep at it, their voters might recognize something they like.