Monday, July 31, 2006

Minimum Wage and Estate Tax?

Minimum wage and Estate Taxes. These 2 things together in the same sentence? Seems kind of odd but in an election year attempt to buyoff the very poor and payoff the very rich the Republicans have decided to tie the two items together. The minimum wage goes up for the first time in a decade and the estate tax for about 11,000 wealthy families goes down.

Its beyond surprising that they would attempt such a naked election year ploy but there you have it. The poorest can only get a little more if the already super rich get richer. The ploy is obvious: Adding the estate tax provisions to the bill insures the Democrats will try to block it and so the Republicans in moderate districts can now say its the Democrats that don't care about poor people, not them.

As Senator Kennedy aptly stated "It's political blackmail to say the only way that minimum wage workers can get a raise is to give a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans," "Members of Congress raised their own pay with no strings attached. Surely, common decency suggests that minimum wage workers deserve the same respect."


A few things to keep in mind when comtemplating this issue:

Inflation has eroded the minimum wage's buying power to the lowest level in about 50 years. Lawmakers have won cost-of-living wage increases totaling about $35,000 for themselves over that time. During the same period the gap between the wealthiest and poorest among us has grown considerably.

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