Now Hillary Clinton is attacking the administration and the Republican Congress for raising congressional pay while turning down a minimum-wage increase. But it was her husband’s desire that the minimum wage not be indexed.
The Democratic Party likes the annual fight to raise the minimum wage. It uses the issue to keep its base united, loyal … and poor.
The answer is to index the minimum wage so that it goes up with the cost of living.
Much of the debate over the minimum wage is, of course, obviated by the earned-income tax credit which kicks in for all minimum-wage mothers. The credit, plus Medicaid eligibility, plus food stamps, plus day-care allowances, plus rent subsidies, plus exemption from income taxes, means that those who earn the minimum wage really have a pre-tax income equivalent over $20,000.
Of course Hillary, who won’t release her tax returns but who earned, with her husband, $18 million on their book deals and who profits from his over $7 million annual income from speeches and who benefits from Bill’s potentially massive earnings from his Dubai relationship, can afford to oppose the congressional pay raise. But if indexation is good for Congress, why is it not good for the poor?