Saturday, July 29, 2006

Conpassionate Conservatism: Paris Hilton Edition

A Republican-sponsored bill just passed the House. Part of the bill is to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. Republicans aren't even trying to hide their lack of enthusiasm.

"Every principled conservative knows this is horrible stuff," Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) said.

Why exactly is this a bad thing? It's been nine years since the mimimum wage last went up. The Republican talking point that raising the minimum wage will create unemployment is a myth. Florida raised the minimum wage and is experiencing low unemployment. In 1997, national unemployment fell and 3 million jobs were created. Bush did not raise the minimum wage during the first term. He did create the least amount of new jobs of any President in recent history.

Why then are Republicans backing a bill to raise minimum wage? The answers are twofold. The first being GOP House members are scared of facing the wrath of voters. The second is the bill contains the Trojan Horse of permanent abolishing the estate tax. Republicans don't care about below-poverty workers, but do they have a mad on for helping those who pass along estates worth over $1,000,000. (AKA the Paris Hilton tax.)

This is the same sneaky tactic the White House used to pass the Orwellian-named Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. The legislation did nothing for job growth and a great deal for cutting capital gains taxes. Which ending up helping to crreate the deficit.

Kevin Drum has an excellent chart on "stagflation." Basically, economic growth has still and inflation is setting in.

Update: Kenneth Quinnel has a post that backs up my minimum wage and unemployment assessment.


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