<< Previous day Blog posts in this category Next day >>
<< Previous year (same day) (if any) Next year (same day) >>
August 4, 2006 [LINK]
House GOP ditches principles
When confronted with unpleasant choices and a tight deadline, most politicians do what average human beings do: punt, that is, let someone else worry about it. Most Republicans in the House detest the minimum wage, believing that in a market economy such as ours, any such attempt to manipulate the price of a good or service is liable to backfire and make most people worse off. But it's an election year, and the minimum wage is one of those "feel good" issues in which the effort to explain why it's bad policy just isn't worth it. To them, the minimum wage is a classic "politically compelling policy." (R. Douglas Arnold) Fear of losing the next election overcomes their doubts that the proposed measure will help the intended beneficiaries the way it's supposed to.
That's why the Republicans resorted to procedural hijinks, following Arnold's precepts, putting the Democrats in a position where they would be pressured into voting against the minimum wage hike: They tied that provision (increasing from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over three years) to a cut in the estate tax, and to a variety of special tax breaks for favored corporations. That way, the Republicans win a partial victory in either case while being shielded from class-baiting criticism. Then they left town for summer recess. If the Senate goes along with the bill, Republicans get their death tax cut, and if not, at least they stopped the minimum wage from going up. (Washington Post) Ugh. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Robert Novak blamed outgoing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (CA) for pushing through a measure he didn't really believe in, just to avoid the heat. (But if Thomas isn't running again, what is his motivation?)
There are probably a dozen or more hidden agendas in the bill Thomas put together, and I wouldn't pretend to care very much about who gets what. I would agree with Novak that the GOP moderates' desire to escape criticism from Democrats over the minimum wage issue is a waste of time. Doing so only makes people think you really don't believe in the principles of market economics. If not, what's the point of being a Republican?
In fact, the Senate voted down the measure on Thursday, which is just as well, given the insincerity of it all. See CNN.com.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 04 Aug 2006, 1: 56 AM
(unformatted URL) .
ALL blog posts today
New blog post entry
This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.
Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)