Saturday, March 12, 2005

I’m really no good at numbers... 

but I thought I’d throw some out for review.

Current minimum wage: $5.15 per hour, $206 a week, $10,712 a year.

Try to image raising a child while working on minimum wage. Try imaging trying to raise two or three children when your monthly income is $824 before taxes.

The Republican Party seems to have a problem with their imagination in this regard. The Democrats, lead by Ted Kennedy tried to insert an amendment into the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. This act, favored by banks and credit card companies, prevents people from filing for banruptcy protection in order to whipe out their debt. The Democrats, for their part, also tried unsuccesfully to add protections for members of the military, single mothers, and seniors, all of which were put down.

As part of this act, it seemed to me that it would be a good idea to give people a leg up so to speak, and try and keep people making the least from feeling extra pressure by raising the minimum wage. I will give Rick Santorum some credit on the issue for just having a counter proposal to increase minimum wage however.

Lets look at Santorum’s increase versus the Kennedy one:

Santorum’s proposed increase: 6.25 per hour, $250 a week, $13,000 a year.
Kennedy’s proposed increase: 7.25 and hour, $290 a week, $15,080 a year.

Not bad Rick. Glad you came to the table on that one. The numbers are still small, but don't you think that an additional 3-5 thousand dollars ayear might go a long way to improving the lives of those on the lowest rung of the economic ladder? Santorums proposal would let people earn $1000 a month before taxes, while Kennedy's sought an increase to $1160 a month. That is more money for food, cloths and school supplies. Is it unreasonable to increase the minimum wage? After all, the price of utilities rises constantly, along with the prices of food, rent, gas, higher education, medicine and doctors visits, etc.

Both amendments were shot down of course, but i think its fun to see just how everyone voted.

Kennedy's amentment was a squeeker at 46 to 49, with 5 not voting. Three of the five who didn't vote were Democrats. 3 republicans voted for this amendment.
Santorum's proposal had some Republican support with 39 votes, but clearly bipartisan opposition with all democrats voting against it.

I just have a few questions for the folks in congress.
1. To the 3 Democrats who didn't vote for the Kennedy amendment: wtf? not voting on this at all? Your legs had better have been broken, keeping you from voting that day. So far as i'm concerned, your not doing your job. The vote was freakin 46 - 49. Do the math you schmucks. you could have kept this going, but you let the Republicans win outright.

2. To the Democrats who voted for the Kennedy amendment but against Santorum's amendment: again, wtf?! You knew that your increase wasn't going to pass, in fact it was defeated 29 minutes before the vote on Santorum's amendment, but with 39 republicans already voting for a smaller measure, you would have gotten some increase through without much of a fight. If you were really serious about helping out the lowest wage earners, shouldn't you have for voted for Santorum's amendment?

3. To the Congessional Republicans and Democrats both: Where the hell do you get off not increasing the minimum wage even though you regularly vote yourselves pay raises? Have you not as a collective group voted yourselves pay increases totaling more than $28,000 dollars per year over the past 8 years?

Republicans can take their claims of 'increased wages will hurt job growth' argument and shove it up the asses. So far as i've seen, paying Congress an additional $28,000 per member per year hasn't done a damn thing for job growth.

Here is an idea for a petition. I hope somone gets on board with this and makes it a reality. Lets make a petition demanding that Congress members lower their pay from the current $158,000 to a nice round $100,000.

I can't imagine they would have a problem with that. Lets do the same for the office of the president ($400,000 a year (to take more vacations than any president in US history)), vice president ($186,000) and all the members of the senate (also $158,000 i believe). This would trim $37,216,000 from federal spending, and aren't these folks always yelping about fiscal responsibility?

They could convince me that they need the extra money if they can show me that the bread the buy to feed their families costs at least $300 a loaf.

This suggestion is mild compared to Hepkitty's, who thinks that they should all have to live with getting paid minimum wage. :D


PS: here are the names of the three Democrats who didn't vote for Kennedy's minimum wage increase:

Max Baucus (D-MT)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Write them, call them, yell at them. these swine should be ashamed of themselves. lazy jerks! :p

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