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Clawsonn reports: "More than 100 House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday to raise the minimum wage. Rep. George Miller's proposed legislation would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 over three years, 85 cents per year, then link it to inflation, so that raising it wouldn't have to be a giant political fight every few years."

A new push for raising the minimum wage is underway. (photo: Getty Images)
A new push for raising the minimum wage is underway. (photo: Getty Images)



Democrats Introduce Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $9.80

By Laura Clawson, Daily Kos

28 July 12

 

ore than 100 House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday to raise the minimum wage. Rep. George Miller's proposed legislation would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 over three years, 85 cents per year, then link it to inflation, so that raising it wouldn't have to be a giant political fight every few years. Tipped workers, who haven't seen their $2.13 minimum wage increased since 1991, would get 85 cent raises until the tipped minimum was 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

"Anyone who works hard and plays by the rules should not live in poverty. Yet 47 million Americans now qualify as the working poor. Raising the minimum wage helps families make ends meet," Miller said in a statement accompanying the bill.

If you work at the current minimum wage for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, with no time off at all, the $15,080 you earn puts you $50 below the poverty threshold for a family of two. That—and the fact that many minimum wage employers keep workers at part-time levels—is why so many working people are forced to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid and other aid programs. It shouldn't be controversial to say that if you work, you shouldn't be poor. But to today's Republican Party, that counts as a radical statement.

Raising the minimum wage won't even come up for a vote in Speaker John Boehner's House. We need a Democratic majority and Speaker Pelosi for that, just as we did in 2006 when Republicans had been blocking minimum wage increases for years. If ever you're tempted to think there's not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans to bother voting, remember that Democrats are the ones trying to give 28 million workers a raise in a way that will stimulate the economy.

 

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+12 # Willman 2012-07-28 18:31
Just another form of legalized slavery.The civil war was fought to end that heinous practice and they have perfected a new type slavery without the actual shackles.
 
 
-8 # Pollard 2012-07-28 19:01
You can buy a home in Appalachia for $25,000 but we need to send more jobs to Pakistan and China.

The hatred for the white working class is incalculable in DC and NYC
 
 
0 # mdhome 2012-07-29 14:46
Sooo, all the poor need to move to Appalachia?
 
 
+6 # Stephanie Remington 2012-07-29 01:55
That's $20,000/year without deductions. Even assuming 90% of that is take home, that's a little over $18,000/year (about $1,400/month).

A single parent would still have a very difficult time getting that to cover rent, utilities, food, clothing, health care, transportation...

Why introduce a bill that prolongs a problem rather than solving it?
 
 
+1 # JSRaleigh 2012-07-29 13:11
Quoting Stephanie Remington:
That's $20,000/year without deductions. Even assuming 90% of that is take home, that's a little over $18,000/year (about $1,400/month).


For a single taxpayer, the minimum withholding would be 14.3% and that's allowing that Congress won't let the reduced FICA tax rate for employees expire at the end of 2012.

If the FICA tax rate for employees does revert back to 6.2% in 2013, the minimum withholding would go back to 16.3%
 
 
+3 # Stephanie Remington 2012-07-29 16:29
Thanks.

So, a little over $17,000/year (and, incidentally, my calculation was based on a 52 week year – no time off), depending on whether congress behaves even more disgracefully than they have already.

And the fact that every time congress proposes some pitifully low increase in the minimum wage, they manage to water it down even further by phasing it in over several years. Wouldn't it be tragic if people could pay a few more bills right away?
 
 
+1 # kenecon 2012-07-29 18:25
I totally agree. This is not nearly enough. Also, it's safe to play the mild liberal card knowing it will never pass. The real test was the period between Nov '08 and Jan. '10 when the Dems were in control of Congress. Not a peep then.
 
 
+2 # jlohman 2012-07-29 05:55
I have real problems with this bill at this time, though I agree that the minimum wage must be increased.

First, it is going absolutely nowhere in the TeaParty-run House. It is a pure election ploy, though it may shine a light on the stupid Republicans. Second, even if it were to pass and become law, it will drive jobs to lower-wage countries.

I prefer that we first pass a bill that adds a heavy tariff to product manufactured in other countries. Then mandate a MAXIMUM wage companies can pay executives, and tie that to the minimum wage they pay their employees (with the $7.50+ minimum wage remaining as a floor).

But guys, get smart. As long as we have a congress that is bought-and-paid -for by the Fat Cats, we are screwed. Get the money out of politics with public funding of campaigns, and that requires that we throw every Fat-Cat congressman out of office until we reach our goal.

Do you have the balls to do that?
 
 
0 # Thirdeye 2012-07-30 04:50
On part-time jobs: My son works two part-time jobs, always struggling to keep the schedules from crossing, and advancement (to 40 hours) at either is hopeless. He'll never make enough for health care.

One employer has about half the restaurant staff on part time. Limiting the PERCENTAGE of part-time employees would make perfect sense.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-07-30 05:40
While raising the minimum wage is certainly a good thing it hardly goes far enough. Even, conservative free marketeer guru Milton Friedman came out in favor of a guaranteed national income during the Nixon administration --Friedman argued it would be much more cost effective to administer than "welfare". See "Redesigning Distribution" by Bruce Ackerman, Anne Alstott and Philippe van Parijs.

And, in addition, we need to start pushing (again, as this has always been one of the basic, historic ecnonomic demands of the working class) for a cut in the work week. Given the new technology and the numbers of people unemployed or underemployed we no longer need to be working 5 days and 40 hours a week (or more for the many of us work longer hours). One of the ways that capital has kept up its profit-rate has been to keep virtually all of the increased profits from productivity increases over the last 30-40 years (along with keeping wages stagnant). One of the ways we start to get back some of these profits is to fight for less hours with no cut in pay (this was always the demand when people fought for the 8 hour day for example).

Can't we do any better than simply a minimal increase in the minimum wage (though this is surely needed to at this point)?
 
 
0 # tadn54 2012-07-30 12:47
Minimum wage legislation will only pass in a Democratically controlled congress. And, if it somehow does, I recommend mandatory raises every year for 10 years--the length of Bush the Dumbers' tax reduction-- equal to 150% of inflation; and don't tell me employers con't afford it, when they hand out million dollar plus bonuses to upper management.
 
 
0 # wilhelmscream 2012-10-20 07:03
The Right/Tea Party wins, My $7.75/hr wage goes to $1.50/hr. Well Hu'tegh bop
 

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