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08/04/2006 06:58 PM ID: 56120 Permalink   

US Minimum Wage Raise Blocked by Senate Democrats


Democrats said the only way Republicans would give a pay raise is to offer a reduction in the estate tax and $38 billion in tax breaks. "This is the worst special-interest bill I have seen," said Sen. Durbin, D-Ill.

The raise would have been $2.10 phased in through 2009. The estate taxes are an inheritance tax on property transfers after a person dies. Sen. Hutchison R-TX said, "We are turning our backs on the middle-class and poor."

The bill also provided that tips could be counted towards the minimum wage which would effectively lower waiter's wages up to $5 per hour according to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash). The failure of the bill was a huge loss for Sen. Bill Frist, R-MD.

    WebReporter: MmmMan Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  So much ...  
for America remaining the Worlds Superpower ... time for its citizens to join the ranks of India and China.
  by: Daev     08/04/2006 07:00 PM     
  Two paragraphs i couldn't fitin  
The estate tax change would cost the government an estimated $268 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. Democrats say the future costs are much larger.

Congressional Republicans have for years refused to consider an increase in the current minimum wage, $5.15 per hour. But the House leadership relented last week in the face of appeals from moderate Republicans who said they needed to act on the minimum wage to defuse intensifying attacks from Democrats and labor organizations.
  by: MmmMan     08/04/2006 07:01 PM     
The quote in the summary is only partial. Here is the full quote from the source:
"We are turning our back on the middle-class and poor people in this country who depend on the minimum wage and death-tax relief."
Since when do the poor rely on "death-tax relief" on estates over $2 million?
  by: justaperson     08/04/2006 07:16 PM     
  Spin spin spin  
"Republicans said Democrats were choosing partisanship over policy"

THEIR policy, that is; which is of course to choose the prosperous over the peasants. I love when politicians blame partisanship for the failure of their bad bills. At least Hutchinson is forthright about Republican goals: "We are turning our backs on the middle-class and poor." Nothing like staying the course...

Then there is Senator Smith's statement:
"I have never understood the belief of some that you can love employees and hate employers, but that seems to be what's driving this."

Same old talking point, new sad violin accompaniment - "I've never been given a job by a poor man." Well, let's not pretend that these tax breaks are opening up opportunities for America's employers, save for those who would be able to afford a new yacht next year with their saved tax money. They must think the American people absurdly stupid to buy a line equating the standard employer with America's richest families. Or, maybe they just expect us to be that spin-dizzy.
  by: MomentOfClarity     08/04/2006 07:21 PM     
  its all  
geared for the rich man..
  by: cbuilding   08/04/2006 08:58 PM     
I consider this a huge victory as this would undoubtedly hurt a huge majority of Americans.
  by: s0n0fagun   08/04/2006 09:19 PM     
Ok, I am a Dem and I have to say although the ultra rich would benefit the most from estate tax cuts, it seems like it is something that would benefit the middle class as well. I understand the rich benefit more by this but doesn't it seem like it is ok? Seriously, closing some of the corporate and stock related loopholes would create a lot more revenue than what would be lost by cutting estate taxes, right? With the right lawyers and I would think the ultra rich could get around this anyway.

For instance, set up a non-profit, have your child be the owner & president, donate it for a huge tax write-off and then the child could buy it from the non-profit for let's say $1. There are probably laws against something like that but I am sure there is some loophole the really rich could exploit anyway...

To me, it seems like the middle class are getting screwed at every turn. The Dems group them with the rich and the Repubs group them with the poor. Sure if I lived in Alabama or Georgia I would be considered lower upper class but in CA, I struggle to get by.
  by: yourown   08/04/2006 09:26 PM     
  weeelll nothing  
unless the middle class is worth a few mill they are not going to be effected by the estate tax.
  by: Emp3r0r     08/04/2006 10:57 PM     
  @ your own  
The tip potion would have forced the legal wage on most waitresses (damn near a slave job) down to a little over Two Dollars an hour , What a give away to the restuarant owners.
  by: ichi     08/04/2006 11:04 PM     
  min wage  
instead of working for a low minimum wage and complaining about it, some people need to just get another job, take responsibility and do something for themselves for once. People are getting very lazy in expecting everything to be handed to them.
  by: mith   08/04/2006 11:53 PM     
have you ever worked for minimum wage?
  by: Emp3r0r     08/05/2006 01:21 AM     
It is not easy if you do not have money to begin with. I worked my way through college (4:30am - 1:30pm work, 2:00pm - 12:00am school). I was at a minimum wage job, had no car (could not afford one) and it sucked. To make it worse, people with attitudes like you made fun of me when I missed a party or could not go out with them. It must have been really nice to have the parents send a check every month (or cry to them when the car needed a tune-up or new game), but some people did not have that option. Yes, I did get student loans also but needed to pay rent and eat which the loans did not cover. My point is, your comment was pretty damned telling of your background and the fact you probably never really had to work (if all else failed, someone would bail you out).

Oh, and don’t give me any flack about scholarships; I had a good GPA (3.8) in high school but that did not help. Sorry, I couldn’t participate in the after-school programs to boost my pre-college resume because I was working THEN ALSO (and I’m a white male). Yes, I made well over minimum wage before college but there was a little more competition in a college town and all that I could get was minimum wage crap jobs. For years I was jealous of my best friend that took over his father’s business as a plumber.

All that said, yes, there are the people who never make the effort. My point is that it is not as easy as people who have never had to start with nothing like to paint it. Getting out of that rut without financial resources can be very, very difficult.
  by: yourown   08/05/2006 02:05 AM     
  to you people  
Yes, I worked for min wage up until about 20. I was going to school, I took out loans like everyone else. A community college at first. I then moved on and got jobs that payed over min wage.
  by: mith   08/05/2006 02:41 AM     
I moved on to do consulting work. So it payed more than min wage. I find reason for nobody to say they can't make more than min wage.
  by: mith   08/05/2006 03:23 AM     
You continue to propagate the myth that if a person works hard enough and gets an education they can get a better job. Even if every person in the country obtained a masters degree or a doctorate someone would still have to work the minimum wage jobs. There are simply not enough jobs above the minimum wage for everyone to have one. The only way there could be is if there was a massive labour shortage which would send inflation through the roof. If you don't know how badly that would devastate a country ask and I'll spell it out for you.

The other thing you assume is that the playing field is level for everyone. I assure you it's not. Compare the quality of education provided in affluent areas to that provided in areas where almost all of the population lives below the poverty line. Also take into account personal circumstance. I am aware of a person locally whose partner was injured and will probably never work again. She works from 4 AM until late into the evening just to pay the rent and put food on the table for the five people in her family. Her case is hardly unique, there are plenty more like her. Now tell me, when should she get an education or search for a better job?

Do I need to go on or are you starting to get the picture?
  by: ixuzus     08/05/2006 04:43 AM     
  when was it? nt  
  by: Emp3r0r     08/05/2006 04:45 AM     
  false govenment  
those senate people work for the public and should be fired.minumum wage is needed and it should be done with no b.s attached to it.shame on you who wish to hurt those who need to make a living..........
  by: flukemol   08/05/2006 08:01 AM     
  The gap...  
...between rich and poor in America is absolutely astonishing. A minimum wage of $5.15 is just pathetic. I know Britain has it's problems but it's facts like that that make me glad to not be American
  by: barryriley   08/05/2006 02:52 PM     
  All government should be paid...  
one and a half minimum wage
  by: TiggyFiggy   08/05/2006 02:53 PM     
In addition to what you feel, you should see what an abomination the health care system is. It's truly makes America the largest hypocritical country in the world.
  by: JollyGreenGiant   08/05/2006 03:09 PM     
  Pass a law  
That says senators and conngressmen can only earn minimum wage and not a penny more... and everyone working at McDonalds will drive a Lexus.
  by: Moojoo     08/05/2006 03:18 PM     
  Raising wages isnt the solution....  
You raise the mininum wage rate and everything else will go up as well, thus maintaining the gap between rich and poor, except at inflated prices.

Granted, in some states where items cost too much for someone to survive on 5.15, such as California, it needs to be higher. But that should be done at the state level.

This is a matter where the Federal Government has no right to intervene in, unless absolutely necessary, and right now it isn't. This is just a pathetic attempt for the Republican Party to gain the votes of the poor in the upcoming election. We all know if the mininum wage pay goes up, that ultimately it is the Congressman and the Businessmen that are going to be reeping in a lot more just to stay above the mininum wage class.

Oh by the way, mininum wage sucked! I was on it for a year while in my last year in high school. You deal with low lives are stuck there for the rest of their life, and some customers will treat you like shit because your on the bottom part of society.

I hated it. I joined the Navy. Also perusauded my sorry ass to go to college.
  by: DesertRebel   08/05/2006 03:58 PM     
  thats sad  
minimum wage is $5.15? god damn... thats the most pathetic thing ive ever seen, kids must have 0 chance of survival in america
  by: starlock   08/05/2006 04:57 PM     
"You raise the mininum wage rate and everything else will go up as well"

Yes you're right but what people fail to see is things are going up anyway. Combined with inflation and oil prices it is that much worse. It should be looked at as a cost of living increase. Remember the minimum wage is ten years old.
  by: Emp3r0r     08/05/2006 05:40 PM     
  i have a problem with min wages  
i have a problem with min wages and coming from me that may sound strange. the problem is they usually become the standard wage when in fact they're supposed to be the min.

More Unions I say !
Workers of the world and all that !
  by: Hugo Chavez     08/05/2006 05:50 PM     
  minimum wage earners won't benefit  
from a minimum wage increase... ok, well maybe they could, but it's not as straight-forward as most of you seem to think. Assume a skilled laborer at $13/hr is as productive as 2 unskilled minimum wage earners making $5.15/hr. From an employer's perspective, it makes sense to employ 2 unskilled laborers at minimum wage because it will cost only $10.30/hr to get the same job done that 1 skilled worker would do for $13/hr. Now increase minimum wage to $7/hr, and all of a sudden employing the 2 workers at minimum wage will cost more than the alternative.. thus turning 2 jobs into 1. Sure 1 person stands to get training and a raise, but the other loses his/her job and gets nothing.
  by: acg   08/05/2006 08:25 PM     
  maintaining the gap  
i think we all get the fact to maintain the poor.keep them give the reponsiblity to the rich which all they do is waste middle and poor classes do all and whats the point of feeding rich greedy senates can we say pink slip.companies pay up or forget about people paying your way of life in the future.............
  by: flukemol   08/05/2006 11:49 PM     
Most states have a minimum higher then the feds because it is too low in the first place.

What you say maybe true for some small businesses but the big box marts will not cut employees because of the need for workers.
  by: Emp3r0r     08/06/2006 02:33 AM     
We have a chance, we just come up with different variations on the how to survive.

For example, some young adults like myself see the military as the perfection option to create a foundation to survive on your own, with little/no help from the parents.
  by: DesertRebel   08/06/2006 06:43 AM     
  Mith is right !!!  
I know none of the regular ultra-liberals want to hear it, but increasing your education and moving to an area where your trade flourishes (or at least exists) is how you can make a livable wage. Raising the min wage is not an entirly bad idea, assuming it was not raised much and over a period of time, but minimum wage jobs are not (and were never) meant to be jobs that allowed you to sustain and whole family, house, bills, cars, etc. It did go a lot further in the old days, but still not that far.

As I am writing this, I am taking a break from studing tech exams so I to can increase my wages. I moved from a non-tech sector (where there were no jobs and few there were crap pay) and moved to Los Angeles where tech thrives and where my continued education can pay off in big dividends (I have already more than doubled my Salary from the East Coast !!!)

Stop looking for the gov to either pay you (welfare) or for it to guarentee some sort of min wage (which Hugo is right, it becomes standard wage in many areas), just get educated and make the right moves and you to can demand a living wage you desire (within reason) and find some sort of economic freedom if you work hard enough !!!!
  by: drduranduran   08/07/2006 04:55 AM     
If everyone goes out and "educated" and strives for a better job so they can make more money, who is going to check you out at the local wal-mart, or Mcdonalds, or Home Depot, Lowes...ect Min wage jobs are a neccesity and so are the people that work in them..... get over yourself and wake up tp the reality which is life.
  by: DRHunk     08/07/2006 03:51 PM     
oops forgot gets, and there were typo' bad
  by: DRHunk     08/07/2006 03:52 PM     
"You raise the mininum wage rate and everything else will go up as well"

Yes you're right but what people fail to see is things are going up anyway. Combined with inflation and oil prices it is that much worse. It should be looked at as a cost of living increase. Remember the minimum wage is ten years old."

the same it true in canada...

minimum wage should be akin to living wage... which is clearly isn't, minimum wage as sad as it is only moderately better than welfare, sure you get about twice as much but transportation can quickly stiffle the gains. living wage in canada is abot 10-12 dollars in the US i think its 8-10...

just think in the last 5 years the gas price in north america have almost doubled and in the 5 years before that had an increase of about 20%... heating oil is 66-100% more costly, hydro (hydro-electricity) has went up about 33-45% (the bill has just under doubled in the last 3 years)... as well as many if not all household bill... frig even the price of milk and bread is up about 15-25% in the 5 years... but yet minimum wage is still the same.
  by: HAVOC666     08/07/2006 04:59 PM     
If everyone goes out and "educated" and strives for a better job so they can make more money, who is going to check you out at the local wal-mart, or Mcdonalds, or Home Depot, Lowes...ect Min wage jobs are a neccesity and so are the people that work in them..... get over yourself and wake up tp the reality which is life."

minimum wage only exists to keep the business's paying their employee's enough to live on... but most cannot live on minimum wage, minimum wage and living wage should be one and the same yet it remains 25-50% below a living wage, which is and hasn't been stiffling the middle and lower class.

work a minimum wage job for awhile and get back to me... i have not seen a single person that makes atleast a living wage that works harder than the average general laborors, (though i hear alot of complaining from some people in life how hard their job is, compared to some jobs i've had most people jobs look like cake-walks, like those in healthcare and education, when they complain about how much they make it makes me sick they are by far over paid compared to the work a general laboror does), now mind you alot of minimum wage workers are slack asses, but certianly not all are, ... many simply don't get a fair shake at the business world.

also, i i'm sick of hearing people saying how if they could do it when they were your age than so can you... the reality is back in the 70's the job market was thriving, its more falling into ression than anything else now, back in the 70's i could easily make a good living wage at a factory moving sheets of steel or what not... but now you need not only highschool but 2 years of college to get a job comparable to that... its a superficial requirement to begin with that has no legitment basis for its inception... general laborors require no real education only basic common sense and an able body.

and as for wal-mart most of the people i know that work at wal-mart hade to settle for wal-mart after they found out that highschool doesn't open the same doors today as it did 10, 20 or 30 years ago to get the same doors open agian you need college these days.
  by: HAVOC666     08/07/2006 05:56 PM     
  my favorite  
is how the repubs use colorful language such as "Death tax" in place of the "estate tax". That way regular people think that they are also effected when you gotta have over 2mill in assets to be effected. Course if I were dead I wouldnt care what you took. What am I gona do???
  by: slavefortheman     08/09/2006 11:23 PM     
  things like this  
just kill me, everyone hates the business owner. I own a small company with 12 employee's. My monthly expense of JUST payroll/benefits/insurance/payroll taxes is a lil over 40k a month. We only do about 50-60k a month. this 'small' $2 increase will cost me another $4k a month. So on those slow months guess what, I get no pay check.
its great working for yourself, I get to pick which 12 hours of the day I get to work.
  by: god-failed   08/12/2006 07:24 AM     
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