On the August 12 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh overstated and once again misrepresented the current federal minimum wage. He claimed that "It's -- whatever it is, six and a quarter, seven bucks an hour," adding that "[t]he minimum wage has gotten so high that it's paying people that are not skilled to do anything."
In reality, the current federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour, where it has stood for the past seven years. That's the second-longest span of time that the minimum wage has gone unchanged since its implementation in 1938, according to an article by the Economic Policy Institute.
From the August 12 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: The minimum wage has gotten so high that it's paying people that are not skilled to do anything. ... It's -- whatever it is, six and a quarter, seven bucks an hour, an hour, going to be there soon. ... I don't want some well intentioned do-gooder that doesn't even know me, who's only interested in making himself feel better, because he thinks he's done something, come along and give me a mediocre, modest, you know, chump change raise, called the minimum wage, and have him feel good about himself, while I'm sitting here still in the midst of a struggle. ... No, thank you. I don't want to be imprisoned by minimum wage. ... Here, take the minimum wage. Vote for us, we'll raise it in a couple years, as long as the rascally Republicans don't stand in our way. They hate you. But we love you. Now go ahead, eat your rice.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the value of the $5.15 minimum wage in real dollars was lower in 2003 than in all but three years since 1960; because the minimum wage remains unchanged in 2004, it is now worth even less relative to its value in other years. At the current federal minimum wage, a full-time worker earns approximately $10,712 a year.
On April 29, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, Limbaugh claimed that "75 percent of the people earning minimum wage" are teenagers; in reality, only 32 percent are.