Mass Revolution Now!

Another member of Massachusetts’ reality based community. Maybe honesty IS the best policy.

August 4, 2006

US Senate Reject Minimum Wage/Estate Tax Ploy

by @ 5:05 am. Filed under National, Election '06, Social Policy

The Republicans just keep stooping to new lows. For most of us we know that the Republicans in Washington and across the country generally do not care about the lower and middle classes; they do not care if there are decent paying wages or that a minimum wage worker at Wal-Mart can’t even afford decent housing in most places in this country. But the Republicans have never been to obvious about their disdain until now. They have decided to play games with people’s wages by tying a much needed hike in the minimum wage to a huge boon for multimillionaires. The Republican leadership in Washington crafted a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 but the bill also required a cut in the estate tax. The estate tax effects far fewer people. This means legislators with a conscience had a nearly impossible choice: they could vote in favor of the bill and bump the minimum wage but give away unneeded millions of dollars to the all ready rich or they could vote against the bill knowing that working families and individuals would have to continue to fight and struggle everyday for the federal minimum wage. Not fun.

The good news is that the Senate knew better than to play the Republicans’ game and rejected the bill on pretty much party lines. This is another reason why passing the minimum wage increase here in Massachusetts was so important, we cannot gamble the lives and well being of hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Commonwealth on the whims and follies of the boys and girls in D.C.

I also think that this little election year scam by the Republicans will completely backfire on them because Democrats can now go around the country reminding voters that the conservatives in office care so little about your future that they are willing to use your livelihood as chip at the blackjack table hoping to score big for their friends. This is actually an excellent example to show the voters that since 1994 there hasn’t really been an honest debate about the issues. All we have gotten is a corrupt system of pay-to-play and corporate influence. I think it’s time for a change, don’t you?

The vote totals on the flip.

The vote, as mentioned was on party lines with these exceptions:

Four Democrats voted for the bill: Sens. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Two Republicans voted against the bill: Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and George Voinovich of Ohio.

[HT: WaPo]

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There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.

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