House GOP Plays Games with Minimum Wage

Not cool, guys. Not cool. Pairing minimum wage hikes with estate tax cuts just so the Senate Democrats will quash it at the next stop on the legislative train, presumably for political gain—“Look at the Democrats! If they really cared about the working poor, they’d give you a minimum wage increase! But they don’t!”—is just … crass.

Now, I know that most menial jobs start above the minimum wage these days because of the demand for labor. I get that, and I get all the economic arguments to not raise the minimum wage. Heck, it’s important to remember that the last time the minimum wage was increased, Clinton was President, and it stayed where it was for the rest of his second term. The economy certainly zoomed on to good jobs and low unemployment without the raises staying in effect.

In short: I don’t buy the “living wage” arguments, but even the biggest haters of the minimum wage can look at what’s been done here and curl their upper lip in disgust.

2 thoughts on “House GOP Plays Games with Minimum Wage”

  1. In case you haven’t noticed, this is the way things get done in Washington right now…. but it isn’t right.

    When they were passing appropriations to pay for operations in Iraq and for Katrina relief (don’t know why those were lumped together in the first place), there was a lot of fuss over various pork being added in. Some of it could be remotely tied to Katrina relief (i.e. Sen Lott’s moving of the CSX railroad), but others were simply anything that could be remotely tied to a disaster of any sort (one was establishing a fund to help people hurt by a yet undeveloped bird flu vaccine).

    Another was the anti-torture legislation pushed through by Sen McCain. This was attached to the year’s defense appropriations bill. If the President chose to veto, it would be touted a him not supporting the troops.

    The bills that are coming through congress are far too big and they’re done that way to allow unpopular items to get through.

    The solution is to grant the President the power of a line item veto. It’s already been done before in 1996, but a federal judge decided it was unconstitutional because it provided the executive branch with some level of control over the federal budget.

    Another solution would be to require congress to limit the scope of any given bill. In the very least, make them short enough that the people voting on them can actually READ them before voting.

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