Republican Senator Against Minimum Wage Says His $700,000 Salary Is ‘Pretty Reasonable’

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has openly opposed a federal minimum wage, but recently said on a radio interview that the $700,000 per year salary he got from his own company was “pretty reasonable.”

This amazing dose of Republican irony was delivered on Wednesday, during The Devil’s Advocate radio program. On the show, Johnson was questioned about a $10 million payout that he received from his plastic company just before he was sworn in. The payout conveniently came after Johnson loaned himself $9 million for his campaign and an FEC complaint was filed against him claiming that the money was a campaign contribution.

Johnson tried to justify the large payout, saying that it was really only a measly $700,000 per year because he hadn’t taken a salary for over 10 years. He said:

“It was a successful company. Compare that to the CEOs and owners of other plastics companies in the same business. Take a look at Plastics News, you’ll see CEOs making millions of dollars, 6 million, 9 million. You know, $700,000 in the scheme of things — and of course it’s all relative — is a pretty reasonable compensation level. So again, the people attacking me are completely off-base, they’re totally wrong.”

What Johnson didn’t say was that even though he wasn’t taking a salary during those years, he still got millions of dollars through capital gains, corporate earnings and real estate. This Republican Senator has been living a heavily cushioned life, yet still opposes minimum wage, claiming that “good workers” don’t stay in minimum-wage jobs for prolonged periods of time. Currently, his state’s minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour – which only translates to about $15,080 per year before taxes.

Raising the minimum wage is a big issue in the upcoming 2016 election, as it has remained unchanged for 6 years, even as the cost of living has continued to increase. Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are calling for an increase in the minimum wage, but are still facing resistance by most Republicans with the same exact mindset as Johnson.

Featured image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr.