Record-Breaking Awesomeness

Bob Geiger:

Another unfortunate milestone in the reign of George W. Bush and the recently-deposed Republican Congress was reached on Saturday when the federal minimum wage set a new record for the longest period without a raise since its establishment in 1938. As of December 2, the $5.15-per-hour wage rate has remained unchanged for nine years and three months.

Not surprisingly, the prior record also occurred under Republican administrations, when the minimum wage rate remained stagnant from early 1981 until April of 1990 under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

…An American working 40 hours per week at the current minimum wage makes only $10,712 a year, which is less than $900 a month to cover housing, health care, food and all other living expenses.

…According to the Economic Policy Institute, the current minimum wage has also deteriorated in real value to the point that buying power for that compensation is at its lowest level since 1955.
Raising the minimum wage at long last is a priority on the Democrats’ agenda, and is almost certain to happen now that they’ve retaken both houses of Congress. In June, the GOP rejected the Democrats’ attempts to raise the minimum wage only one week after blocking a Democratic resolution to block their own pay increase, thusly giving themselves a $3,300 raise.

Bush may yet go down as the worst president in history, but I hope we won’t forget his enabling Republican Congress, so replete with hubristic avarice that they took from the poor and gave to the rich and maligned as traitors anyone who would not fete their magnanimity.

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