This past week in the in the Senate, while everyone was fixated on the indictment of Libby, a vote took place which reminded me of a scene from a Mel Brooks movie. That movie of course was History of the World Part I, and the scene was during the Roman era and the Senate was in session deciding what to do with revenues. The choice was, â€śShall we continue to build palace after palace for the rich, or give to the needy and the poorâ€ť, where by then the Senate stood up in unison and said in a most vulgar manner â€śF*ck the poor!â€ť
Well, I doubt any Senators stood up and said exactly that, but one could certainly envision them doing it. In a 51 to 49 vote, the Senate decided against raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.25 for the working stiffs.
Now I am not one of those people who think that raising the minimum wage is going to be the answer to a growing financial crisis, but there has not been an increase to the minimum wage since 1997. Meanwhile, during that same period of time, the Senate had no problem giving themselves several pay raises that amounted to about 28,000 dollars a year.
For the fifth straight year, the poverty level in America has risen and it looks like this year, the blue collar folks will just have to suck it up again. To those 37 million Americans who are below the poverty level, I guess look on the bright side, the price of gas dropped .04 cents this past week; Exxon must be a little guilty.
Considering what Senators do, their salary of $162,100 dollars and all those wonderful perks that ride along with it, are not really too outrageous. On the other side of that coin, not raising the basic minimum wage so that it at least keeps up with the cost of living in over eight years is outrageous.
Just keep that in mind, people, as the mid term elections roll around.