Saturday, May 26, 2007

Iraq and the Minimum Wage

Congress has passed the first increase in the minimum wage since September of 97. The increase was a part of the war spending bill passed by congress. It's great that the minimum wage will increase, but it's no excuse for the spineless act of giving Bush a blank check for Iraq with no time line:

(AP) America's lowest paid workers won a $2.10 raise Thursday, with Congress approving the first increase in the federal minimum wage in almost a decade.

President Bush was expected to sign the bill quickly, and workers who now make $5.15 an hour will see their paychecks go up by 70 cents per hour before the end of the summer. Another 70 cents will be added next year, and by summer 2009, all minimum wage jobs will pay no less than $7.25 an hour.

For years, the idea of increasing the minimum wage has been stalled by partisan bickering between Republicans and Democrats.

That almost became the fate of this year's proposal. Democratic leaders attached the provision to the $120 billion Iraq war spending bill, which was vetoed by the GOP-controlled White House on May 1 because Democrats insisted on a pullout date for American troops.
Democrats seem to be doing everything they can disenfranchise the people who voted them into congressional power for one reason: to stop the war. I'm sure that Democrats have some larger than life rationalization for continuing the funding of Iraq for all time. I'm sure that rationalization makes sense in DC and is something that a mere ordinary citizen like me couldn't hope to comprehend. But, what comes across America's teevees is that Democrats are weak and caved to Bush once again. People hate the Iraq war and hate Bush. Democrats should understand that and act on it. But they won't.

The votes for the Senate version of the bill are here. The votes for the House bill are here.