Could the Democratic Party be on the verge of making an intelligent move?
As hard as it might be to credit such an idea, the Boston Globe reported Sunday that Democrats have come up with an answer to the gay-marriage trick, which the Republicans used to bump up the turnout in 2004. Eleven states had initiatives banning gay marriage on the ballot, all of which passed.
In response, the Democrats have hit upon the issue that used to motivate the party faithful back when there were such: economic fairness. Following up on the message touted by John Edwards, they’ve decided to come out in favor of an increase in the minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 since 1997.
If my math skills haven’t left me, forty hours at $5.15 amounts to $260 a week before taxes (after all, if those on minimum wage didn’t pay taxes, the rich would have their interest income taxed, and we all know that would destroy the country). Maybe in the heartland that’s enough to live on…
Republicans, predictably, are unconcerned. Or perhaps lying:
Voters approach ballot measures and candidates for office differently [That’s why the Republicans wanted those gay-marriage initiatives on the ballot in 2004: because they wouldn’t help. — CED], and the president and the Republican Congress have a strong record of job and economic growth, said Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
Many Republicans support modest increases in the minimum wage when tied to economic changes such as cuts in required overtime pay.
Republicans, that is, support increases in workers’ take-home pay — as long as they’re tied to offsetting decreases. “Modest increases” means, apparently, no increase. Hey, how ya gonna give your CEO a multi-million-dollar bonus if you’re wasting money on the folks at the bottom?
Along with the rest of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party, I’ve been pushing the economic fairness issue for a while now. Dare we hope that the time has come?