Saturday, July 29, 2006

"I Think It's an Issue of Morality, Decency, and Fairness"

That's Paul Hodes speaking about the minimum wage in the Nashua Telegraph. Hodes has pledged to donate any pay raises he receives as a member of Congress to charity until Congress approves an increase in the minimum wage; he also advocates regular increases to keep up with inflation.

You know what? What Charlie Bass's people have to say on this issue isn't even worth talking about. All they seem to be able to do is try to make this a partisan issue, as if people making a decent living for hard work is some dirty gotcha trick the Democrats are trying to pull on poor Charlie.

While the minimum wage has not changed since 1997 (good thing prices haven't gone up since then on anything like, oh, say, gas):

During the same period, congressional pay has gone up $31,000 or about 20 percent, Hodes said.

The minimum wage should be $6.50 to $6.75 an hour and go up annually in step with the general rate of inflation, Hodes said.

Someone now earning the bare minimum receives $206 for 40 hours a week, before taxes, and that’s still only a third of the average monthly rent in New Hampshire of $626.

“It’s wrong, it’s unconscionable and it’s got to change. I will not vote for a congressional pay raise until Congress raises the minimum wage,” Hodes said.
The notion that this could be a partisan issue is just sick, and Charlie Bass seems to be trying to spread that kind of sickness.

I'll close by repeating Hodes' words again:
“I think it’s an issue of morality, decency and fairness.”

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