U.S Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement today after the release of two reports from the National Employment Law Center, and researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examining the high public costs to low wages paid by the nation's fast-food corporations.
"These reports highlight the significant costs to our families and our economy of low wages paid by the multi-billion dollar fast-food industry. Low pay by these highly profitable corporations means higher public costs borne by taxpayers. While these public assistance programs provide an important and needed safety net for our citizens, these costs are subsidizing fast-food companies' low wages.
"Low pay not only harms families, but it also holds back our recovery from the Great Recession. If fast-food companies paid their workers higher wages, those families could live better and our nation could instead invest those billions of dollars to repair our crumbling roads, fix our failing schools and create more good-paying jobs. That's why a fair wage is not about asking for a handout. Rather, it's about valuing work. And it's about growing the economy from the bottom up by increasing working families' purchasing power."
Rep. Miller is the author of H.R. 1010, legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour in three steps. The Education and the Workforce Committee Democratic staff also released a report in May detailing the costs to taxpayers of low wages paid by Wal-Mart.