Friday, July 28, 2006

Little political rant

I'm not really concerned about politics in general; I tend to think both parties are crazy and just leave it at that. I don't usually spend much time watching C-SPAN and such because I feel so insulted by the superficiality and slogan slinging of Congress speeches. But tonight I let myself do just that because I was bored. The House is debating a minimum wage increase bill. The R's want it, and the D's oppose it, which seems slightly counterintuitive. But the bill was constructed by Republicans and has some features which the Dems oppose:
  • Big tax cut for wealthy families.
  • Doesn't rage minimum wage for tip-earning employees, and in certain states actually lowers their minimum wage.
  • Very expensive; burden on the national debt.
I admit I was amused to hear Republicans talking compassionately about the need to help low-income citizens, and on the flip-side Democrats crying about balancing the budget and lowering the national debt. But in fact I was more persuaded by the Democrats in their arguments against the bill. While I don't hate rich people or anything, and could care less whether they have more or less money, the bill would be extremely expensive (the Reps never contradicted the Dems' figures). The tip-earners clause is just wacky; one Rep made the legitimate point that individual states could vote to restore the tip-earner's wage to its original level, or make it higher. But it seems to me the Federal government should presume against forcing states to needlessly reevaluate such issues--and besides, between the time the bill became law, and the restoration of tip-earner's minimum wage, there's a lot of money lost to those people.

I believed one Dem who said that the bill did not even reach the level of an "election year conversion" and was more of an election year deception. Minimum wage simply isn't a Republican concern, unless it's a bargaining chip for a tax cut. Well, the wage increase is incomplete (and in some states a decrease) and barely affordable if that.

But it took the Reps a hell of a long time to even address any of the specific complaints the Dems brought up; and when the Dems weren't immediately persuaded, the Reps and Dems both went back to mindless moral posturing and "Who, me?" responses to criticisms.

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