Bush has spoken in favor of abolishing the federal minimum wage, but leaving state minimums at the discretion of the respective states.
QUESTIONER: “Let's talk minimum wage. Is raising it a good idea, and if so, is it the government's role, or in the case of companies like Wal-mart, do we need to leave it to the private sector?”
(0:44 – 1:25)
Jeb Bush: “We need to leave it to the private sector. I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn't be doing this, this is a, this is one of those poll-driven deals. It polls well, I'm sure; I haven't looked at the polling, but I'm sure on the surface without any conversation, without any digging into it, people say 'yeah, everybody's wages should be up.' And in the case of Wal-mart, they have raised wages because of supply and demand, and that's good. But the federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached.”
Bush contends that any increase in the minimum wage, contrary to the intent of benefiting workers, would in fact be likely to cost them their jobs.
“The great majority of the people that would benefit from that would shortly find that there'd be some innovation, some automation, some change of business plans so that businesses could continue to make ends meet, and that they would be likely the ones that would lose their jobs.”