Saturday, August 05, 2006

Keep It Real, Republicans

This Pittsburgh-Post Gazette editorial did a great job of cutting to the chase. [Emphasis added.]
Keep it real/The minimum wage has no link to the estate tax

[...] In the end, the vote defeating the bill in the Senate meant that nobody got anything -- no raise in the minimum wage, no cut in the estate tax and none of the other provisions either. All of the fruit in the basket will now rot on the ground, though Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist vows to bring the unholy package back after the congressional vacation.

What should have been done instead? The minimum wage and the estate tax, at least, should have been separate, up-or-down votes, as the Democratic minority demanded. The name of the game for those in the House and the Senate, 468 of whose seats will be up for election in November, needs to be accountability. Did a lawmaker vote for or against raising the minimum wage, for or against cutting the estate tax? If the omnibus bill had passed, would voters have been able to figure out where their representatives stood on the individual measures?

Thursday's dismal performance was unfortunately typical of the Republicans who control Congress and, taken as a whole, was a reasonable argument for voting out incumbents of either party who would back the cynical linkage of unrelated proposals that deserve separate votes.
A separate up-or-down vote is the last thing Republicans wanted. That would have forced them to show their constituents how they really feel about the working poor.


Rory Shock said...

the minimum wage is a joke ... sickening ... I'd like to live in a country where all workers are paid a LIVING wage someday ...

Libby said...

Amen to that Kathy and good point Rory. The really pathetic part is even with the raise, phased in over three years, it's not going to lift any working poor out of poverty.

abi said...

According to Derrick Jackson in today's Boston Globe: "[I]f the minimum wage had risen at the same rate of CEO pay since 1990, it would stand at $23 an hour."

Who says there's no class war in America?

Kathy said...

As Abi and Libby point out, it won't lift workers out of poverty, but we have to start somewhere and build from there.

Rory, I'd like to live where all workers earn a living wage too, but as long as greed rules our world it will never happen.