Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Minimum Wage Increase Fails

The Senate today failed to pass a measure raising the minimum wage above the current level of $5.15 per hour, which is about half of a living wage in many cities. This is the ninth time Senate Republicans have blocked an increase in the minimum wage since 1997. The ratio of CEO salaries to those of the average worker have increased tenfold in the past forty years; meanwhile, the minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation and real wages for workers have remained stagnant. Why is there such resistance to raising wages?

In other news from the Hill, since the Senate is having so much trouble permanently repealing the estate tax (a move that would only benefit a small percentage of the nation's wealthiest families), House Republicans have offered to put into the bill a $900 million tax break for timber companies to entice legislators from Arkansas and Washington to switch their votes, effectively passing the bill and making the estate tax repeal permanent.


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