Thursday, February 01, 2007

Minimum wage bill passes Senate

After lots of wrangling the vote was 94-3. Among those voting against the bill was Jim DeMint. Presumably he was miffed that his line-item veto amendment failed.

The bill includes tax breaks for small businesses that must be resolved in conference committee, because the House version didn't include them. If the House goes along with the tax breaks, the bill will pass. If the conferees decide to strip out the breaks, then the "clean" bill will have to pass the Senate, a dicey proposition.

I urge Congress to keep the breaks. They are reasonable, and are paid for by eliminating various tax shelters and placing limits on tax-deferred compensation for executives.

BTW, today's political chuckle is provided by the White House. Remember when President Bush challenged Congress to balance the budget? Then consider this.

After the House passed its bill on Jan. 10, the White House issued a statement insisting that final legislation include small business tax breaks. It subsequently issued a statement supporting the Senate version, but said the revenue measures were not necessary.

Got that? Our newly minted deficit hawk of a president said the bill must include tax breaks, but didn't need to include revenue measures to pay for the tax breaks.

Perhaps someone needs to explain to Bush what "fiscal conservative," "balanced budget" and "deficit reduction" means.

Update: Here's a fun find: Two years ago, Republicans argued that a $2-an-hour minimum wage hike would cripple the economy. Now that the increase is a reality, let's see if they turn out to be right.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kind of makes one wonder why Sen. Teddy Kennedy threw such a fit about the small business tax cuts then! You would have thought the world was ending.

This is a big win for the Republicans as well. Kudos to them for getting a small business tax cut!!

2/01/2007 8:20 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Fair enough. I think this demonstrates how things are supposed to work: both sides compromised to get their way, with the minority having to compromise a little bit more. What I like about the deal is that the tax and revenue provisions were reasonable in and of themselves; I would have supported them on their own merits.

2/01/2007 9:00 PM  

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