Saturday, July 29, 2006

Against It Before He Was for It.

Imagine that. Charles Bass voted to raise the minimum wage.

After voting against raising the minimum wage something like seven times in a month, Charlie Bass voted to raise it.

A day after his representatives were quoted saying that, in calling for a raise in the minimum wage, Paul Hodes was "attacking a problem that doesn’t exist," Charlie Bass voted to raise it.

What possibly could have changed his mind so quickly?

Could it be the fact that House Republican leadership tied an increase in the minimum wage to a reduction in the estate tax, to better protect the transmission of wealth from one generation to the next for the very richest Americans? Might that be what made it ok for this "moderate," "independent" Republican to support inching up pay for the hard work of the lowest-paid Americans?

All those votes against raising the minimum wage? That's
because those votes were on "Democratic gimmicks" that would have hurt people. It's a good thing Republicans don't get gimmicky with their bills:

The minimum wage vote came after House Republican leaders scrambled to respond to appeals from Republicans in the Northeast and the Midwest who said they needed to dilute escalating Democratic attacks and were worried they would be pounded in the August recess by labor groups. Some Republicans said they would have preferred that the wage increase be tied to legislation other than the estate tax cut, with a health initiative for small businesses one popular alternative.

But Republican leaders seized on the opportunity to advance the estate tax plan, and advocates of a wage increase went along. “It could have been done differently,” said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, “but it is done.”

This does look like a vote of principle on Bass's part. It's just a shame that the principle in question is obedience to his Republican party masters and service to the very wealthiest Americans, with no consideration for the hard-working poor.

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