Friday, January 26, 2007

Shame on you

Alexander (R-TN), Allard (R-CO), Bennett (R-UT),Bond (R-MO), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Crapo (R-ID),DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV),Enzi (R-WY),Graham (R-SC), Gregg (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Hatch (R-UT), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Kyl (R-AZ), Lott (R-MS), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Sununu (R-NH), Thomas (R-WY)

Recognize any of those names up there? That's a list of senators who voted to eliminate the federal minimum wage. I'm not talking about voting against an increase in the minimum wage (you can find the roll call vote on that here). A vote against increasing the minimum wage which has been stuck at the same rate since 1997 is shameful enough. These Senators want to eliminate it entirely.

I've highlighted the name of the Senator from Tennessee who voted to screw the working poor. Even Tennessee's newest millionaire Senator, Bob Corker, didn't have the audacity to vote for this abominable piece of legislation. It was enough for him to contribute to blocking the proposed increase. Talk about representing your constituency. Tennessee is ranked 35th in personal income by the U.S. Census Bureau with the state's per capita income at 27, 828. It doesn't take all that many millionaires like Alexander, Corker and our former Senator Bill Frist to offset a whole lot of people who are barely scraping by, if that. There's a wonderful line in the movie Gladiator where a Roman senator states, "I've never claimed to be a man of the people, but I do try to be a man for the people." It's obvious that's not at work here. Alexander made his political mark in his first Governor's race by wearing a red and black plaid flannel shirt to point out that he was just a common, every day man. That shirt will still come out sometimes in his re-election campaigns, and its hypocrisy makes me ill.

Look carefully at that list. I've written about Alexander because he's one of my Senators, but there are some pretty significant names on there, like John McCain, undeclared Presidential hopeful and Sam Brownback whose hat is already in the the ring. Do we want a president who thinks we don't need a minimum wage?

I've signed payroll checks. I know the impact that even modest wages and salaries make on an organization, and I know that each of those checks went to people who needed at least the bare minimum of a roof over their heads, clothing on their backs, food in their bellies and enough health care to keep them able to keep working.

Bill Clinton once said that we don't need government on our backs, but we do need it by our side. Alexander and his pals who voted to eliminate the federal minimum wage can't tell the difference.

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Anonymous ender said...

oh good grief! these people should be forced to live for at least a solid year working a minimum wage job and trying to scrape by. then they can see what they think about eliminating the minimum wage.


good post :)

January 26, 2007 6:50 AM  
Blogger ~Rebecca Anne~ said...

I didn't even have to read the list to know one of our states senators would be on that list.

I do think it's obscene that our minimum wage is so low in this country. I have one friend who is actually making the proposed minimum wage of $7.00 and she struggles penny by penny every month. If it takes an hour of work to earn one gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on 5.15 an hour, how is anyone supposed to live?? These people, the senators have one purpose, cover their backers backs.......and stop over the regular people in the process.

January 26, 2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Rashenbo said...

Doh! That sucks. I tell you. I just don't have much faith in some of the decisions our government has been making these days.

Thanks for sharing.

January 26, 2007 10:57 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I feel your fire about this issue, but I find it very hard to relate. Oregon has one of the highest minimum wages in the country---January 1, our minimum wage went up to $7.80 per hour. It is hard on a small business owner like me, but I also understand that when rent for a decent place to live approaches $1000 per month, I can't expect to pay my employees less.

When I started MY first job, the minimum wage was $2.00 per hour. Doesn't THAT make you (me?) feel old?

January 27, 2007 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Some of the names on that list aren't a bit surprising. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is the chickenhawk who got himself elected by smearing a disabled Vietnam veteran who was the incumbent. There needs to be a special place in Hell for people like this. We know what happened to Marie Antoinette.

January 27, 2007 4:23 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for bringing this up. I didn't even know about the proposal. As a fellow Tennessean, Lamar is embarrassing us.

Have a great weekend!
My Blog

January 27, 2007 4:06 PM  

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