Have I mentioned the minimum wage atrocity yet? Oh, I think I have: here, here, here, and even a cursory mention here. The overriding issue is that the minimum wage has been set at $5.15 per hour for the last ten years. Despite our legislature declining to change it in all that time, they have for the last seven years voted themselves a pay increase. Double standard? You bet! But now it gets even better.
The House is presently trying to weasel their way through yet another tax cut that will only benefit the top 8,200 rich people in the country (at the cost of $1.4 million each). That is a tax cut that will add to our ballooning deficit, a debt so historically large and untenable that it seems only appropriate to refer to our representatives as the credit card Congress. Americans will be repaying that debt for a very long time — generations, in fact, if the uncontrolled spending continues as it has under this fiscally conservative Republican leadership.
What is the relevance of yet another tax break for the disgustingly rich when we are talking about the minimum wage horror? It would seem the conservative leadership is using it as a ploy by linking a minimum wage increase to this offensive tax cut. It places representatives in the terrible situation of having to either endorse this pandering to those who actually should be paying more taxes but are being offered yet another selective cut in their federal obligations, or to support an increase in the minimum wage. Republican leadership undoubtedly saw this as a win-win situation for them. Either they get the tax cut or they can accuse Democrats of voting against a minimum wage increase.
Critics say the House deal, linking an increase in the minimum wage with a sharp reduction of the estate tax, is aimed at two groups at opposite ends of the economic spectrum. The minimum wage hike will help some 6.6 million beneficiaries with an average dollar benefit of $1,200. The estate tax cut will benefit some 8,200 people with an average dollar benefit of $1.4 million, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in Washington.
Let’s do the math, shall we?
They want to offer $7.9 billion in additional wages to the bottom of the pay barrel (that’s 6.6 million people at $1,200 each). That money comes from the businesses that employ citizens at the minimum wage.
The cost of this philanthropic gesture is a decrease in tax revenues to the tune of $11.5 billion (that’s 8,200 people at $1.4 million each). That is money the rich certainly can afford, yet our fearless leadership believes those people should be able to keep that money instead of carrying their share of our unrestrained spending. Guess who will be paying for that? The working class, of course!
But millions of middle income individuals “will almost certainly lose from the House bill, when the measures ultimately needed to pay for the bill’s sharp cuts in the estate tax are taken into account,” reported CBPP’s Joel Friedman and Aviva Aron-Dine this weekend.
America’s economy is being abused to the extent that it will plunge our citizens into financial servitude for generations to come. It places our nation on the precarious edge of recession, if not an outright depression. For those of us not in government who have to live in the real world and can’t assume via our own machinations that we will receive a yearly pay increase, this is yet another way to ensure taxes must be increased and our government must continue to borrow in order to function. At what point did the Republican party become so fiscally irresponsible? Isn’t that against their membership rules or something?
This particular display of wealthy arrogance, of course, is intended to ensure those voting against the tax break are also forced to vote against the minimum wage hike. Those voting for the minimum wage hike will likewise be seen as fiscally ignorant insomuch as they are also voting for a multibillion-dollar tax break that will benefit only 0.002 percent of the population.
As ABC News is so fond of saying, “It’s your money.”