July 28, 2006
Republican Minimum Wage Plan

Outgoing centrist Republican Congressman Sherry Boehlert believes that the House leadership will offer a plan that ties a hike in the minimum wage to association health plans (AHP). If this is true, I say bully for House Republican leaders.

My support for a minimum wage hike is somewhat selfish. The truth is that raising the mandated Federal wage floor is good for states like Washington where the mimimum wage is higher than what Congress requires. This will also be a good thing for the business climate of those local municipalties that mandate "living wages."

AHP's or small business health plans are one of those ideas that make a lot of sense, but don't get anywhere because of insurance lobby opposition. The idea is simple: get rid of certain loopholes and allow small businesses to pool together and purchase health plans the same way that large corporations and labor unions do on a regular basis. The benefit is that with more buying power small business can provide health care to their workers at a lower cost.

This legislation has the potential to kill two birds with one stone for the GOP by blunting Democrat attack ads on health care and the minimum wage. It also ends the effective but obvious political stunt pushed by Teddy Kennedy of opposing Congressional pay raises without an increase in the minimum wage.

Advice to the McGavick campaign: get on board!

Posted by matpruitt at July 28, 2006 12:19 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Boy, I'm sure glad there aren't any other countries in this world where jobs could move to if labor costs in the US climb too high! That competition would be a bad thing!

Posted by: TB on July 28, 2006 02:48 PM
2. Though I agree with the healtcare stipulation and the extension of the estate tax break I do not support a minimum wage increase. It doesn't really help the majority of people. First of all, most people who have a minimum wage job are teens. Secondly, where do you think these extra wages paid out come from, the wage fairy? They come by you and I having to pay more for goods and services. Most people realize that with most operating cost hikes (minimum wage increases, tax increase, material cost increases) the cost is past on to the consumer. Thirdly, all I see the minimum wage increase as is a way for the Democrats to increase the poverty level in this country so therefore they can have even more people addicted to social service programs and then use the fear of Conservatives cutting these programs as a way to control these voters.

Posted by: TrueSoldier on July 28, 2006 08:25 PM
3. I am sorry to see this passed by the House (although the sting is lessened somewhat by the inclusion of the Estate Tax rider).

Fortunately it will never pass the Senate.

In the good ole days it was recognized that "minimum wage" laws were bad for business. Liberals glommed onto that and turned it into a "greedy GOP" fantasy. Unfortunately more than a few moderate Republicans have bought into this fanciful notion.

The truth is minimum wage laws hurt low-income wage earners the most. Soft Republicans buy into this as misguided "compassionate conservatism". Where is the compassion in saying; "Congratulations! You now can earn $7.25! Sorry to hear that your job was eliminated."

I look forward to seeing it die a much-deserved death!

Posted by: alphabet soup on July 29, 2006 12:06 PM
4. I am sorry to see this passed by the House (although the sting is lessened somewhat by the inclusion of the Estate Tax rider).

Fortunately it will never pass the Senate.

In the good ole days it was recognized that "minimum wage" laws were bad for business. Liberals glommed onto that and turned it into a "greedy GOP" fantasy. Unfortunately more than a few moderate Republicans have bought into this fanciful notion.

The truth is minimum wage laws hurt low-income wage earners the most. Soft Republicans buy into this as misguided "compassionate conservatism". Where is the compassion in saying; "Congratulations! You now can earn $7.25! Sorry to hear that your job was eliminated."

I look forward to seeing it die a much-deserved death!

Posted by: alphabet soup on July 29, 2006 12:07 PM
5. I'm sure Mat would have been a big booster of Nixonian price and wage controls, too.

Perhaps nanny gov'ment should control "maximum wage" as well to control greed, and liberate more money for the po' folk? Bill Gates doesn't need his billions to have a comfortable life!

And Republicans wonder why some of the flock bolt for the Libertarian Party, which formed in the shadow of those great Nixonian years.

Mat, Liberty doesn't mean wages are dictated by the central government, whether by Dems or RepubliCrats.

Slaves have their wages dictated, because their owners know better.

Posted by: Nixon'sGhost on July 29, 2006 12:21 PM
7. None of your comments are true as far as Washington workers go. Our minimum wage in this state will be higher, regardless. In fact, because it is higher, it hurts our business climate. Bringing the Federal mandate closer to our state's is a good thing for the Washington economy. I agree with most of the conservative ideological arguments about the minium wage, but reality is reality, and from the view point of a Washingtonian the Republican legislation is a good thing. Furthermore, I would like to point out that many of you are making broad ideological arguments without backing them up with much fact. Only high schoolers make the minimum wage? Show me some statistics. The minimum wage hurts low wage earners in all cases? Bring me the proof. I, as any Republican should be, am nervous about any unrealistic raise in mandated wages, but I don't think the Republican bill falls under the category of unrealistic.

Posted by: Mathew on July 30, 2006 03:40 PM
8.
Mat, Liberty doesn't mean wages are dictated by the central government, whether by Dems or RepubliCrats.

That's a very narrow and personal definition of liberty. I wonder if someone in poverty defines liberty as being able to pay the bills?

Posted by: Mathew on July 30, 2006 03:42 PM
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