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May 2, 2014

I have been reading about how a substantial raise in the minimum wage would take millions of underpaid people out of poverty and off welfare, saving billions in expense to taxpayers and thus reducing our budget and long term deficits. Republicans block efforts to raise minimum wages while at the same time coming up with a Ryan budget that drastically cuts into such items as food stamps, for instance, in an apparent attempt to institutionalize famine, famine, that is, for the poor.
We are not talking the demonized 47% here; we are talking working poor who can’t make it on the minimum wage scale. They truly need food stamps at the least if they are to survive. I can’t believe that Republicans would argue that it is good policy to starve their fellow Americans. Even Egyptian pharaohs knew that was bad policy; famines in their day were attended by civil commotion. People must eat.
The Republican budget is not just a numbers game; it tells us something about how they think and formulate policy. They plainly think in terms of helping the rich and roughing up the rest of us, and we should hold them to account. When you think beyond the superficial, it is clear that Republicans have a plan when resisting attempts by Democrats to raise the minimum wage and it is not limited to roughing up the poor and us taxpayers; Republicans are also helping their rich patrons because it is they who would have to give a raise to their currently underpaid employees (i.e., the working poor).
We can therefore see that the real reason Republicans are opposed to an increase in the minimum wage is not the one they advertise; it is merely part and parcel of their overall strategy to at all times and places appease and otherwise assist the rich in getting richer. Such a fact also ruins their pretense that they are opposed to increases in current budget and long term debt. They are not opposed, because if they were, they would favor an increased minimum wage that would lower our twin deficits.
When Republican pretense and propaganda efforts are laid aside, it is abundantly clear that they will sacrifice our current and long term budgets and literally starve Americans for the sake of protecting their superrich patrons from having to pay a reasonable increase in the minimum wage.
Otherwise stated, one can say that the Republican view is that the bottom lines of rich employers are more important to America than the prospect of increased budgetary deficits and famine among the poor, and that therefore we should as a matter of policy continue to have American taxpayers subsidize superrich employers by paying for food stamps and other such welfare costs so that the rich can continue to profit from such taxpayer largesse via payment of (literally) starvation wages. We are in effect paying wages that employers should be paying, and that is corporate welfare – for Exhibit A, see Wal-Mart, where we taxpayers lavish billions on its employees, billions that go (after accounting massage) directly to Sam Walton’s heirs, a cozy arrangement indeed for the heirs – but not you and me.
Now the Republicans want us to end food stamps, period. Let’s see, now, if we follow their ideas we will have no increase in minimum wages, and with the end of the food stamp program we taxpayers will pay nothing for the working poor to keep body and soul together. Stand aside, Bangladesh and India!
Such Republican priorities if enacted into law would be an American first – famine by statute! GERALD E


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