Thursday, June 22, 2006

House of Pain

The Republican-controlled Senate smothered a proposed election-year increase in the minimum wage Wednesday, rejecting Democratic claims that it was past time to boost the $5.15 hourly pay floor that has been in effect for nearly a decade. The Senate vote marked the ninth time since 1997 that Democrats there have proposed - and Republicans have blocked - a stand-alone increase in the minimum wage. The debate fell along predictable lines. The House did have time to vote on their own pay increase on June 13 when they "embraced a $3,300" a year raise. Their salaries are now $168,500 a year and they still take bribes, free dinners, free golf trips and skim political contributions made to their campaigns.

Beyond themselves, Republicans also had more sympathy for the top 1% of Americans in terms of wealth than the single mother on minimum wage working 40 hours a week earning around $206 before taxes by pushing for a vote before the November elections to eliminate the estate tax. This would give a tax break worth around $300 billion, with a "b" for the top one-half of 1% of Americans in just the first ten years. Guess who is going to pay for that tax revenue shortfall? You, me and the troops they claim to support. Thank god Paris Hilton won't have to worry about inheriting all that untaxed empire that she did nothing to build. Rumsfeld can now explain that the reason why U.S. troops don't have the proper armament or equipment or more troops around them is because we can't afford it because he needed his estate protected from paying taxes. Nice symmetry there. In fact, if taxes are so inherently bad for the economy why not have a zero tax rate? The estate tax excludes 99% of all estates now the Republicans want 100% excluded. That's a zero tax rate. If it's good for estates when you die how about while you are alive when you can really enjoy it?

The Republicans also had time to prevent a vote renewing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voting on a non-binding resolution in support of our troops (rather than a real debate on how to protect them and our nation's honor), preparing to vote on amending the U.S. Constitution to ban flag burning and voting on a gay marriage amendment.

I'm hoping this November the Republicans reap the pain that they sow.


Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Sickening. Just sickening.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

It's the politics of "I've got mine." Politics is all about money who gets it from the government and who in the government gets it from donors. That's all that drives legislation these days. It's not about big ideas of how to organize society and how to govern it but entirely about telling people how to live, what they can watch, read, how they can die, what research will be done, etc. Mainly it's about staying in office. You won't find people voting their conscience even if it's not popular. No more giants to for a civil rights act even if it means getting voted out of office. It's over.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It really is over. On another blog, someone commented that there has been a coup and it hasn't been announced yet.

8:04 PM  

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