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Worker Income At 1989 Levels....GOP Senators Obstruct Increase

By The Reverend Published: May 1, 2014

As expected, the Koch Brothers Senate, formerly known as the U.S. Senate, blocked a closure vote to proceed to a debate and final vote on an increase in the nation's minimum wage.

On a nearly party-line vote of 54-42, Obama's Democrats fell short of the needed 60 Senate votes to end a procedural roadblock against a White House-backed bill.

The legislation would raise the minimum hourly wage from its current $7.25 to $10.10 per hour during the next three years, and then index for inflation in the future.

The reason jobs are still hard to find, the reason the national economy isn't growing by much is because America's job creators.....U.S. consumers....don't have enough disposal income to stimulate economic growth and more hiring.

The typical US household saw its income fall last year to 1989 levels. A family right in the middle of the income spectrum had an income of $50,054, which is actually lower than the 1989 median level of $50,624 expressed in 2011 dollars. The implication: For much of America the economy has produced not just one lost decade but two. Stagnation has even hit wealthier and more educated households (the 95th percentile in the Census data) for the past decade.

How can U.S. job creators, you know, create jobs when their incomes are lower than they were TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO?

Republican senators who voted to stop an increase in the minimum wage, as their King Kochs instructed, explained their vote to keep wages low for U.S. workers by saying the "tradeoff" was unacceptable. Tradeoff? What tradeoff?

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), the senior Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, in a statement after the vote: “Raising the minimum wage creates winners and losers -- it will raise the wages of some but result in job losses for many low-income workers. The true problem plaguing impoverished Americans is not low wage rates but a lack of good job opportunities.”

You see, to Republicans, average income levels in 2011 which are below 1989 income levels doesn't mean U.S. workers are getting paid too little and need an effing raise. Don't be silly. All those poor working Americans....and even average working Americans.....don't need more income,....because that would be "picking winners and losers"....what they need is more "good job opportunities."

That seems like an odd prescription to me because I remember when all those "good job opportunities" were thrown overboard in a clusterfrack of NAFTA-like "trade" agreements which gutted a tremendous number of "good paying jobs." Republicans weren't bothered when they "picked winners" in China and India and made "losers" of working Americans....were they?

No, "good job opportunities" is simply more GOP-code for corporate tax cuts and regulation shredding.....which don't produce good job opportunities...but make the Koch Brothers, and similar oligarchs, smile.

Here's the fig leaf Republican senators hid behind after they voted to prevent lower-than-subsistence-levels minimum wages from being increased.....

Republicans on Monday cited a Bloomberg Poll in which 57 percent of respondents said it was an "unacceptable" trade-off if the bill raised the incomes of 16.5 million Americans while eliminating 500,000 jobs.

The CBO suggested that 500,000 jobs COULD or MIGHT be eliminated with a higher minimum wage. But.....16.5 million Americans getting a raise when the minimum wage is below 1969 levels in purchasing power seems like a pretty good "tradeoff" to me. Furthermore, Republican senators who relied on those tradeoff polling numbers to hide their oligarch-pimping from the people must have been entirely dismissive of these polling results.....

Sixty-nine percent of Americans, including 45 percent of Republicans, support the president’s call to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over the next three years. Twenty-eight percent of poll respondents oppose such action.

That 69% number must be "skewed", huh? But just don't try to argue that those "tradeoff" polling numbers are skewed....that wouldn't be prudent.

As oligarch-serving GOP senators tried desperately to cover their nakedness as revealed in their vote to keep worker wages at historically low levels, the excuses became flimsier and flimsier.....

....most Republicans said they felt boxed in by Democrats who would not consider a smaller increase.

A smaller increase? A SMALLER INCREASE? Going from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over THREE years.....sorry.....ain't squat. The increase in the minimum should be closer to $15 an hour than $10 an hour, all things considered.....but if only those mean Senate Democrats would have considered a smaller increase, mealy-mouthed Koch servants wouldn't feel so, you know, "boxed in."

“There’s no interest, apparently, on their side in having that conversation,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio. “This is more of a political exercise.”

Would that "political exercise" be similar in any way to the record filibustering by Senate Republicans since 2007? Were all those historically high numbers of obstruction by GOP senators also "political exercises?"

Or, would that be like the FIFTY FOUR "political exercises" House Republicans conducted to repeal Obamacare?

The GOP has no clothes. Their nakedly lickspittle service to their oligarch owners can no longer be covered by laughably trite, yet nonsensical, responses. What American workers need is a raise.....the public overwhelmingly agrees. Now, Republicans need to tell voters why they keep voting to keep worker wages low.

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