About a month ago, Chipotle announced that it was eager to hire thousands of additional employees, and in response to a complex job market, the chain was increasing its wages to an average of $15 an hour. Yesterday, however, it made a related announcement.
The New York Times reported that Chipotle has also decided to raise its menu prices "by about 4 percent to cover the cost of the increased employee wages."
And that apparently gave some Republicans an idea. The Hill reported:
House Republicans are blaming Democrats for the rise in Chipotle burrito prices. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) issued a statement on Wednesday pointing to Chipotle's recent announcement they would raise prices on their menu products by about 4 percent -- and blaming Democrats.
At a certain level, I suppose this is a step up from Republicans talking about Dr. Seuss and imaginary "meat bans," since there's at least a policy dimension to the NRCC's pitch.
But it's nevertheless a tough sell. To hear Republicans tell it, Chipotle is paying its workers more as a result of the American Relief Plan -- the NRCC called the Democrats' COVID relief package a "socialist stimulus bill" -- which in turn means "your burrito just got more expensive." Not a lot more expensive, of course, but a little more.
The tricky part is what happens when we extrapolate from there. Evidently, the National Republican Congressional Committee would have voters believe that Chipotle workers shouldn't be making an average of $15 an hour, because it's more important to prevent a 4% increase in the price of lunch at a prominent fast-food chain.
In other words, Americans are effectively being told, "Vote Republican: Workers will make less money, but your next burrito will cost a little less."
That might be an electoral winner, but I'm skeptical.