Wednesday, August 02, 2006

GOP Minimum Wage Maneuver Slimier Than Eagle Says

Randy Schofield has an interesting comment on the Wichita Eagle WE blog:

House Republican leaders played a cheap political trick over the weekend when they tacked a proposed minimum wage increase, from $5.15 to $7.25, onto a bill of inheritance and other tax breaks for the rich.

The gambit allows moderate Republicans up for election to point out that they voted for a minimum-wage hike — denying Democrats a potent economic issue. Meanwhile, the bill has no chance of passing in the Senate.

An estimated 15 million American workers would benefit from the boost in the minimum wage, which, because of inflation, is at its lowest level of buying power since 1955, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Meanwhile, in the last decade, lawmakers have approved cost-of-living wage hikes for themselves of about $35,000.

Working Americans aren’t getting a fair shake.
A good comment, and Schofield even provides a link to an Economic Policy Institute report.

What's my complaint then? Dean Baker states it well
[To] raise the minimum wage to $7.15 an hour in 2007, from 5.15 an hour at present, it would be helpful to tell readers that this is equal to approximately $5.32 in 1997 dollars, the year the last minimum wage hike took full effect. This means that minimum wage workers would get about a 3.0 percent increase in real wages from 1997 to 2007, if this bill was approved.

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