On Monday, while working on the campaign trail, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made the claim that her mother’s minimum wage job provided for all of her family of three.
“She got a minimum wage job in an America where a minimum wage job would support a family of three and that’s how we survived,” Warren, who has advocated for a higher minimum wage, said Monday while campaigning for Rep. Bruce Braley in Iowa.
What exactly is Warren saying here? It sounds like Elizabeth Warren is making the claim that her mother’s single minimum wage income provided for her family’s needs i.e. food, clothing, shelter, living expenses, etc. Can that be? I am not sure how to interpret it any other way. She is clear – a minimum wage job would support a family of three.
This is a lie. Pure and simple.
1.) Elizabeth Warren’s mother never at any time was the sole supporter of her family. Elizabeth previously claimed that she had to get a job as a waitress (at the age of 13) in her aunt’s restaurant in order to help with expenses because her father’s income had been ‘reduced’, not lost. Her father took a pay cut as a result of his health…Not a job loss..
2.) The federal minimum wage in 1962 (approximately the time Elizabeth warren would have been 13 years old) was $1.15 per hour. That wage was equivalent to $5.97 per hour in constant dollars. According to this website, which uses data from the Consumer Price Index. Today’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is equal to about $4.87 in constant dollars. Of course, many states today have a minimum wage that far exceeds the federal rate. About half the US states have a higher minimum wage and some as high as $9.32 per hour (Washington).
3.) What happened to the rest of her family? Elizabeth Warren had three older brothers, so who is this family of three that she speaks of? She was a member of a family of 6 = 2 parents and 4 children…We know they were at one point in the military, but unlikely so at the time Elizabeth was 13 years old unless the parents did not have children for several years between their youngest son and Elizabeth.
4.) Did her brothers not help with finances? Were they deadbeats?
5.) At $1.15 per hour for 2000 hours per year her mother would have earned $2,300 per year. That is nowhere near enough to support a family of 3, 4, 5 or even 6 people.
6.) Elizabeth Warren has lied about things like this before. Remember when she lied about her brother living on $13,200 per year and she got caught in that lie. Elizabeth also lied about her father at one point claiming he was a flight instructor and then during her campaign as a Janitor. She also lied about her Native ancestry. It seems she lies about her humble roots when it seems to work for her. The question becomes how long will people put up with being lied to…