Tom Emmer picks a fight with all those $100k-a-year waiters

Tom Emmer knows how to fix the economy: We've got to stick it to the kingpins raking in big money serving us coffee.

Emmer found a handful of wait-staff making more than $100,000 a year and used their almost unique good fortune to bludgeon every hardscrabble waiter and waitress working a midnight shift at the greasy spoon.

The Republican candidate for governor said yesterday the state should cut the minimum wage for all service-industry employees who get tips.

Under state law, employees who get tips are still entitled to between $5.25 and $6.15 an hour. Federal law allows states to set the minimum wage for tipped workers much lower, at $2.13 an hour.

Emmer told his audience at the Eagle Street Grill in St. Paul that the wage restrictions are crushing small businesses while waiters and bartenders are making out like bandits.

"With the tips that they get to take home, they are some people earning over $100,000 a year. More than the very people providing the jobs and investing not only their life savings but their families' future."

If the plague of fat-cat waitstaff tycoons is news to you, it's also a surprise to the people who keep the numbers: according to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly earnings for waiters is $22,730. Bartenders make an average of $20, 390.  And yes, those figures include tips.

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