One of the big debates in Washington right now is whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25, which amounts to far less than a living wage and a more than 50-year low in buying power with inflation factored in.
Yesterday, the campaign of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes sent out an email making a strong pitch for legislation increasing the minimum wage, and criticized Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell for blocking such efforts. After I tweeted out the gist of Grimes’ email, the Jefferson County Republican Party replied with this tweet:
So raising the minimum wage is not even an “idea,” but is buying votes? Well, at least they didn’t call it “class warfare” against the wealthy.
Ah, but McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton actually beat them to it earlier this week:
“It’s a tried-and-tested part of the liberal playbook to use the politics of class warfare, and we don’t anticipate it to be successful,” said Jesse Benton, a top adviser to McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate who’s in a tough reelection fight in Kentucky. “It’s divisive and not productive.”
Yes, the man who works for Sen. McConnell — who birthed the sequestration cuts because he didn’t want to raise taxes on millionaires by a dime, and now hugs on tightly to those “modest” cuts while wanting to eliminate access to health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans under the Affordable Care Act — doesn’t want such nasty class warfare.
But who does want the “class warfare” of a minimum wage increase? Not just a huge majority of Americans, but poll after poll shows that a majority or plurality of Republicans want a minimum wage hike. Look out, Louisville GOP! The call from the greedy class warfare takers is coming from inside of the house!
Business Insider reported yesterday that McConnell will buck House Speaker John Boehner and vote against the budget compromise deal of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) because it dares to slightly reduce sequestration cuts by one third. McConnell will have none of that, because as George Will said, “the sequester is his baby.”
And speaking of sequestration cuts and the “children” of Kentucky, how’s that working out right now?
OWENSBORO, Ky. — How, exactly, did Congress manage to kick 4-year-old Carli Hopkins out of her preschool?
Carli asked after it happened. Her mother didn’t try to explain. The child was still too young to learn about politicians.
“Some kids get to go to school all the time. And some kids get to stay home with Mom,” Rebecca Hopkins told her. “And you are one of those kids.”
The real answer was the “sequester,” the $85 billion budget cut that Washington lawmakers designed to be such a stupid idea it could never come true.
Then, of course, it came true.
Now — as Congress considers a deal that would end this odd experiment in blind budget cutting — it is possible to stand back and explain how it actually worked.
“Stand back” and “end” the sequester?” Not if McConnell has anything to do with it. Sorry Ft. Knox, poor children, Meals on Wheels and women’s crisis centers… Mitch’s baby will not even have its hair mussed. After all, such spending would be more of the “class warfare” and “buying votes” that the lazy 47 percent “takers” crave.
Let’s add to the mix the desire of McConnell’s crowd to end the extension of unemployment insurance, which if not renewed by Dec. 28 would kick 18,000 unemployed Kentuckians of their insurance, with an additional 17,600 losing their benefits in the first half of next year. But as Rand Paul said Sunday, to not kick this safety net out from under those struggling unemployed Kentuckians would be a great “disservice” to them:
In summation: Merry Christmas!