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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Minimal Wage

Props to Kevin Drum of Political Animal for noticing that the GOP’s minimum wage-estate tax abomination increases (to $10 million) and then indexes for inflation the exemption from the estate tax, but does not index the mimimum wage at all. I guess that’s not surprising, since most GOPers want to kill the estate tax altogether, and many would be happy if the minimum wage went away as well. Still, it’s an interesting contrast: it’s okay to let the value of the minimum wage continuously erode, affecting the most vulnerable working Americans, but not okay to let inflation snag a few wealthy families into paying the estate tax each year. I’m reminded of the term used by the character Jones in A Confederacy of Dunces for the statutory floor set on his earnings as a janitor at a New Orleans strip-joint: “the minimal wage.” That’s what it is, all right, and where it will remain if Republicans get their way.

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