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Why Are Repubicans Keeping Wages Low?

By The Reverend Published: May 15, 2014

I had it good back in 1968....and didn't realize it.....

...the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968. If it had been indexed to the official Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) from that point forward, the minimum wage in 2013 would be $10.75 — $3.50 per hour higher than it actually is.

Just to keep up with the purchasing power of the minimum wage of 1968, today's minimum wage would have to be increased by $3.50 per hour. To fully understand how it could be that all non-wealthy workers in America have not actually received a raise in some three decades.....you must first start by looking at the minimum wage.

Economic conditions in the U.S. should be ripe for expansion. We have historically low interest rates. Inflation is very low. But consumer demand, though improving, is still too low to create enough new jobs for those looking for one.

For consumer demand to increase, average Americans need more money. The pathway for American workers to get paid more.....starts with increasing the minimum wage. The minimum sets the threshold for wages. If the minimum is raised to over $10 per hour.......pressure will increase on employers to raise wages for all employees, not just those making the minimum.

So far, congressional Republicans have refused to even consider debating and voting on an increase of the minimum wage. However, these three former GOP presidential candidates think congressional Republicans might be making a mistake.....

Romney, Santorum and Pawlenty say that by refusing to publicly advocate a minimum wage increase, congressional Republicans are ceding the national dialogue to Democrats on an issue that consistently draws majority support in polls. Pawlenty and Santorum said raising the wage is in the spirit of Republicans’ blue-collar ethos, while Romney concluded last week: “Our party is all about more jobs and better pay and I think communicating that is important to us.”

But virtually no Senate Republican is listening to them. They’ve already blocked one attempt to raise the wage and say they’ll do so again...

Now, perhaps Mitt, Ricky and Timmy are only suggesting that congressional Republicans should publicly "advocate" for a minimum wage increase.....and nothing more. Just talk publicly like they favor an increase in the minimum wage while still queering any legislation from moving forward that would actually increase the minimum. Perhaps. Perception is reality today, so maybe all those former presidential primary candidates are only advising elected Republicans to create a perception for voters that Republicans really would like to see an increase in the minimum wage.

As GOP Senator Marco Rubio says here....

“We certainly need to do a better job of communicating to working-class voters that we have an agenda that’s better for them than what the other side is offering,” Rubio said. “I just think it would hurt many of those people because it would cost them their jobs.”

Sure, young Marco advises, Republicans need to communicate a "message" of empathy for poorly paid workers....but at the same time Rubio says Republicans must protect those poorly paid workers from, maybe, losing their jobs, by keeping the minimum wage far below 1968 levels.

GOP Senator Theo Cruz.....
“I don’t think the federal government should be making it harder for people who are struggling to achieve the American dream,” Cruz said.

Raising poor, working Americans out of poverty by increasing the minimum wage, Cruz explains, makes it "harder to achieve the American dream." Yes, Cruz is a master of doubletalk.

In 2007, the Republican George W. Bush signed the first minimum wage increase bill in ten years. The minimum was raised then from $5.15 per hour to the current $7.25. The 2007 increase was not even controversial. The bill passed 94-3 in the Senate and 315-116 in the House. Unlike in 2014, before the 2007 measure passed, conservative media-ragers didn't even seem concerned.

How things change in seven short years, huh?

There are so many very good reasons why average Americans should refuse to send Republicans back to Congress this November.......but the GOP's refusal to consider an increase in wages for our nation's poorest paid workers should top the list of all likely voters planning to cast their midterm ballot this year.

Republicans have no good excuses for stonewalling an increase in the minimum wage. Republicans are blocking any increase simply because they can. Yes, it's shameful, sickening and totally unacceptable. But the only thing that can be done about it rests in the hands of likely voters.

Finally, the working principle of today's Republican Party is best represented in the words of former Cheney neo-con lackey, David Addington, who famously stated that
"We're going to push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop."

Voters are the only "larger force" which can put a stop to the Republican Party's relentless pushing to degrade the standard of living for 90% of Americans. The GOP is crying out to voters to stop them. Republicans are doing everything they can possibly do to turn U.S. voters away.

It's time for voters to stop the GOP this November. It's time to do what is in the best interest of the vast majority of our fellow U.S. citizens. Vote Republicans the hell out of office.
 

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