How does this help the American people?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Senate Rejects Estate, Minimum Wage Bill

The GOP strategy put Democrats in an uncomfortable position. Either they could vote against the bill - thus rejecting a minimum wage increase - or they could vote for it - thus agreeing to cut taxes on multimillion-dollar estates. Most rejected the bill, blocking a GOP victory months before the election.

Never mind that it’s disgraceful that the minimum wage is tied to the whims of politicians rather than some real measure of economic conditions.  That’s a post for another day.  I fail to see who benefits from tying together two unrelated bills.  This is (or should be) an abuse of the system.  If I have a bill that no one wants to vote for, then I tack it on to a bill that everyone wants to vote for, and therefore get my bill passed, that only serves me.  It does not serve the public.

When I vote for Congressmen and Senators, I don’t do it with the idea that my Congressmen and my Senators will fight for exactly what I want at the expense of everyone else.  I vote for them so that they can take some views I agree with into the larger discussions of what’s best for the country.

This particular case is pretty despicable, too.  Bill Frist desperately wants to repeal the estate taxes so that wealthy people can leave more to their wealthy children.  He can’t get enough votes to do it, so he (or someone else, I don’t know) attaches the bill to a raise in the minimum wage.  So, take a bill to help put more tax burden on lower income people, and tie it to a bill that people mistakenly thinks helps some of those same lower income people, and voila!  You have a bill that everyone likes.

Except what we really need is a simplified tax code that treats all income like income, and then makes some exceptions to promote things we want to promote, like saving and investing and charitable contributions.  Then we need to rethink the minimum wage laws.  Yes, I know I said this was for another day, but I’m on a roll.  First, determine what the minimum wage is supposed to do.  Is it supposed to guarantee that a couple on minimum wage can raise a family?  If that’s the case, it’s way too low.  Is it supposed to be a guideline for what to pay a sixteen-year-old kid on his first job?  Well, then it at least needs to incorporate cost of living adjustments.  Whatever it’s supposed to do, it’s broken now, and this bill isn’t going to fix it.

Posted in: complaint , uninformed ramblings