the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

July 29, 2006

House Passes Minimum Wage Hike With Estate Tax Cut


The estate tax repeal is back yet again. Actually this time it’s just a cut, not a repeal, but it remains a bad idea to help establish a hereditary plutocracy while adding even more to our already insanely large deficit.

When I first heard about the Republican plan to tie a minimum wage increase to an estate tax cut, I foolishly believed that Democrats wouldn’t swallow the poison pill. The Republican trick was so transparent that it would be easy to explain to the average voter, to defuse accusations that Democrats blocked a minimum wage increase — accusations that wouldn’t be very believable anyway.

Alas, at 1:30 this morning, 34 Democrats did swallow it, and the bill passed the House. Since 21 Republicans voted against the bill, it would have failed if the Democrats had stood together. What is wrong with these people?

The bill doesn’t even index the minimum wage for inflation (or tie future increases to congressional pay raises, as some Democrats have proposed). It just provides a one-time increase, which means we’ll be facing the same problem again in a few years. The accompanying estate tax cut, of course, is permanent.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where I’m still hoping the Democrats will have a little more spine. There is some reason to hope it can be defeated:

But the maneuvering by House and Senate GOP leaders to package the measures over the objection of some Senate chairmen caused severely bruised feelings. Lawmakers from both parties said last night that the legislation could easily collapse in the Senate, underscoring Democratic contentions that Congress has become dysfunctional. […]

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) signaled he would try to scuttle the tax bill next week. “Republicans have made perfectly clear who they stand with and who they are willing to fight for: the privileged few,” he said.

Thomas Jefferson felt that limiting inheritance was the way to avoid an aristocracy, and that “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living” and “the dead have neither powers nor rights over it.” Let’s hope today’s Democrats maintain those beliefs.

post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


DCDL is a blog by Washington, DC-area members of Drinking Liberally. Opinions expressed are the writers’, not those of Drinking Liberally, which provides no funding or other support for this blog.

Upcoming Events

See information on the revived DC chapter (2012).

DCDL Member Blogs

DCDL Speaker Links

DC Links

Liberal (Mostly) Blogs

Liberal Groups

Internal Links


Drinking Liberally

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


Search Blog



46 queries. 0.390 seconds