Andy Puzder: Minimum Wage Hikes Can Kill Jobs

States set to hold votes on whether to increase minimum wage on Tuesday should be able to do so without interference from the federal government, according to Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants and economic advisor to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“States have every right to decide what the minimum wage should be,” Puzder said during an appearance on “Mornings With Maria” on Sunday. “I’ve been opposed to minimum wage increases that kill jobs, and a lot of these state increases are to that level that they would kill jobs. I think that’s bad for American workers. But working in a cabinet, working in the federal government, there’s really nothing you could do to stop states from raising the minimum wages.”

Residents in Arizona, Colorado and Maine will vote on whether to increase minimum wage to $12 per hour. Voters in Washington will weigh in on an increase to $13.80 per hour. Both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are in favor of minimum wage increases. Trump supports an increase to $10 per hour, while Clinton proposes $12.

Puzder said a Trump administration would work to address several economic issues within its first 100 days in office, including a revision of the tax code, an increased focus on becoming “energy independent” through fossil fuel extraction and a rollback of President Barack Obama’s executive orders on regulation of businesses.

The chief executive of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food chains also laid out a plan to reform the healthcare system post-Obamacare. Puzder called for a system that would provide incentives, such as health savings accounts and tax deductions, to motivate the middle class to buy insurance.

“Then we’ve got competition from insurance companies, because you’ve now got people who have an incentive to purchase insurance,” Puzder said. “They’re not being forced by the government to purchase it or compelled or penalized. They’re being given a benefit, much like employers are with employee insurance. They’ll have the incentive to purchase, and then you’ll have insurance companies competing for their business, which will drive down the cost of insurance and drive up the quality of insurance.”