FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Democratic Blood Money

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

The Democrats, fresh from selling out the soldiers and marines in Iraq by handing the mad George Bush $120 billion to continue funding his war, are claiming victory.

Oh, they can’t hide the fact that they gave up on the war issue. But they’re quick to brag that they won a big one by cleverly including in the war funding supplemental bill a hike in the minimum wage, bringing the federal rate from the current $5.15/hour to $7.25.

But America’s long-suffering working poor better hold the champagne.

This bold stroke on their behalf by Congressional Democrats won’t happen right away. Although America’s lowest paid workers have been slaving away at $5.15 an hour since last September 1, they won’t get the first part of the new pay increase until the end of this summer, when it will go up a whopping 13 percent to $5.85 per hour (to put that in perspective, that’s $28/week more, less taxes, for someone working a 40-hour week). They’ll have to wait until around this time next year before they get another boost to $6.55 an hour, and they won’t get that full $7.25 an hour that the Democrats are hooting about until 2009.

And remember, we’re talking about blood money here.

This was a raise paid for in the blood of American servicepeople, and the blood of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, many of them innocent children.

Besides, that whole raise of 40 percent over two years will actually look a whole lot less by the time they get it, thanks to the actions of Bush and the Democratic Congress.

Figure that the Iraq War, which is costing the nation, at this point, over $300 billion a year in cold cash, and probably double that if you factor in the credit on the debt (the whole thing is being paid for on credit), is a major reason the dollar is sinking against major currencies. That means higher prices for most imported goods, which means just about everything that working stiffs have to buy. It also means higher than necessary interest rates, because keeping interest rates high relative to other countries is the only way the U.S. has left to keep the dollar from crashing totally to the level of a third world currency. Those higher interest rates mean higher mortgage costs and higher credit card interest payments to working people. And don’t forget gas prices. The oil companies will tell you that the doubling of gas prices since Bush took office is all a matter of “market forces,” but the truth is it’s mostly been the war and threats to Middle East supplies that have bid up the per-barrel price and allowed the gouging to happen.

So netting it all out, it’s likely that the higher minimum wage the Democrats just bought at the price of giving Bush his war money will simply vanish by the time people get it.

Besides, the federal minimum wage increase is much less of a deal than it might even appear, since many states have already raised the minimum wage for their workers. In California, workers earn at least $7.50/hour, and that goes to $8.00/hour next January. In New York, the minimum wage is $7.15. It’s also $7.15/hour in Alaska, and will be on July 1 in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Illinois workers, currently earning $6.95/hour, will see their minimum go to $7.50 on July 1. Many other states have minimum wages close to or above $7.00/hour already.

Some deal those Democrats made with Bush!

Boy, they really stood tough with a president who was bargaining from a 28 percent approval rating in the polls.

Kind of makes you proud you voted them into control of Congress last November doesn’t it?

Spend it well!

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Rick Baum
While Public Education is Being Attacked: An American Federation of Teachers Petition Focuses on Maintaining a Minor Tax Break
Paul C. Bermanzohn
The As-If Society
Cole A. Turner
Go Away, Kevin Spacey
Ramzy Baroud
70 Years of Broken Promises: The Untold Story of the Partition Plan
Binoy Kampmark
A New Movement of Rights and the Right in Australia
George Ochenski
Democratic Party: Discouraged, Disgusted, Dysfunctional
Nino Pagliccia
The Governorship Elections in Venezuela: an Interview With Arnold August
Christopher Ketcham
Spanksgiving Day Poem
November 22, 2017
Jonathan Cook
Syria, ‘Experts’ and George Monbiot
William Kaufman
The Great American Sex Panic of 2017
Richard Moser
Young Patriots, Black Panthers and the Rainbow Coalition
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness
Lee Artz
Cuba Libre, 2017
Mark Weisbrot
Mass Starvation and an Unconstitutional War: US / Saudi Crimes in Yemen
Frank Stricker
Republican Tax Cuts: You’re Right, They’re Not About Economic Growth or Lifting Working-Class Incomes
Edward Hunt
Reconciling With Extremists in Afghanistan
Dave Lindorff
Remembering Media Critic Ed Herman
Nick Pemberton
What to do About Al Franken?
November 21, 2017
Gregory Elich
What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Louisa Willcox
Rising Grizzly Bear Deaths Raise Red Flag About Delisting
David Macaray
My Encounter With Charles Manson
Patrick Cockburn
The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman
Stephen Corry
OECD Fails to Recognize WWF Conservation Abuses
James Rothenberg
We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Keyes
Let There be a Benign Reason For Someone to be Crawling Through My Window at 3AM!
L. Ali Khan
The Merchant of Weapons
Thomas Knapp
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike
Lee Ballinger
Trump v. Marshawn Lynch
Michael Eisenscher
Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea
Tom H. Hastings
Reckless
Franklin Lamb
Will Lebanon’s Economy Be Crippled?
Linn Washington Jr.
Forced Anthem Adherence Antithetical to Justice
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Do Civilians Become Combatants In Wars Against America?
November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail