See below for video of Virginia House Republicans this afternoon killing Del. Marcus Simon’s bill to increase the minimum wage (to $9 per hour effective July 1, 2019, to $10 per hour effective January 1, 2020, to $11 per hour effective January 1, 2021, to $13 per hour effective January 1, 2022, and to $15 per hour effective January 1, 2023) as well as Del. Ken Plum’s less ambitious minimum wage increase bill. Of course, arguments made on this issue by Republicans and others (e.g., the Virginia Restaurant Federation) are flat-out false. In fact, economists have studied this issue for years and have overwhelmingly found that the small number of job losses from minimum wage increases is MORE THAN OFFSET by net GAINS due to higher wages. Also note that Virginia’s minimum wage ($7.25/hour) hasn’t been increased in about a decade (while Republicans, NOT coincidentally, have controlled the General Assembly), which is utterly appalling, given that it costs $1.20 today to purchase what $1.00 could buy back in 2009. Despite this, the infuriating reality is that Republicans just don’t care about hard-working Virginians earning the minimum wage. Or, they simply care more about helping the powerful while screwing over the “little guy.” Which is, of course, the Republican Party’s core philosophy at this point…and yet ANOTHER reason to vote against them, up and down the ballot, every chance you get.