Sunday, April 22, 2012

Middle Class Assistance Stymied In Congress

In the ongoing Congressional battle of meaningless legislative measures designed to gain election campaign talking points, but having no change at all of ever becoming law, both sides of the capitol are wasting time on bills our leaders say are meant to help middle class citizens, but will never go on the statute books. Last Thursday, April 19, the House voted 235 to 173 to pass a 20% income tax cut for small businesses employing fewer than 500 workers. Though House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia says the bill could create 100,000 jobs annually, the Senate will never vote on the measure, and President Obama has vowed to veto the bill if it ever does reach the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, across the capitol rotunda, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin proposes increasing the minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $9.80/hour, and index minimum wage increases to the cost of living after that. Tipped worker minimum wages would go up from $2.13 to $6.85 under the Harkin bill, and be indexed at 70% of the minimum for non-tipped workers after that. Harkin’s proposal doesn’t stand much of a chance of passing the employer dominated House.

If our elected leaders were half as thoughtful about compromising across the aisles of Congress and actually passing some measures that would promote business development and job growth as they are about introducing headline grabbing, meaningless, unpassable bills, economic growth could suddenly materialize.

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