Block that hike

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“Tothenaked­eye,ahikeinthefed­eralmin­i­mumwagelook­slikead­one deal,” Jeremy Lott writes at www.realclearpol­i­tics.com.

“Speaker-des­ig­nate Nancy Pelosi will in­clude it in the House’s ‘first 100 hours’ agenda. Pres­i­dent Bush has said he’ll sign a hike as long as it in­cludes some re­lief for small busi­nesses.It­wouldbe­d­if­fi­cult­forthemi­nor­ity of Repub­li­can sen­a­tors to sus­tain a fil­i­buster in de­fense of a wage floor that was set in 1997,” said Mr.Lott,whois­theWar­renT.Brookes Jour­nal­is­mFel­lowattheCom­pet­i­tive En­ter­prise In­sti­tute.

“How­ever, there is one big rea­son fortheDemocrats—yes,Democrats — to avoid hik­ing the fed­eral min­i­mum wage in 2007. It’s a po­lit­i­cally dumb­thingtodobe­cau­seit­would­de­priv­ethe­mo­facru­cial­get-out-the-vote is­sue in the 2008 elec­tions.

“Min­i­mum-wage in­creases were up for vote in six states this year and car­ried all but one state by over­whelm­ing mar­gins (Coloradans ap­proved it by a more mod­est mar­gin). Res­i­dents of Ari­zona, Colorado, Mis­souri,Mon­tana,Ne­vadaandOhiode- cid­edthat­low-wage­work­ers­de­served a raise — out of some­body else’s wal­let, of course.

“Them­i­ni­mum-wagevote­had­four pos­i­tive ef­fects for Democrats: (1) It gave them con­trol of the U.S. Se­nate; (2) It added to their ma­jor­ity in the House; (3) It helped them in state gu­ber­na­to­rial and leg­isla­tive races; and (4) It was a Demo­crat-friendly is­sue to ri­val gay mar­riage.”

Mr.Lot­tadded:“What­might­serve Democrats best at this point is mis­di­rec­tion and dem­a­goguery. They can en­cour­ageRepub­li­cansintheSe­nate tofil­i­bus­ter­i­tor,fail­ingthat,pass­abill soridicu­lousthat­evenPres­i­den­tBush will­have­tove­toit.Then­tel­lvot­er­s­the Man is keep­ing them down.”

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