The Minimum President
"Washington - President Bush endorsed one of the Democrats' top priorities for the new Congress, a $2.10-an-hour minimum wage increase - and on a faster timetable than they have proposed.
But his support comes with a catch.
Bush said at a Wednesday news conference that any pay hike should be accompanied by tax and regulatory relief for small businesses, potentially a tough sell for Democrats, who are about to reassume control of the House and Senate."
Senator Kennedy commented on the President's offer:
"Minimum wage workers have waited almost 10 long years for an increase..."
But it really isn't about an increase for the minimum wage worker. It is about an adjustment for inflation. Those at the bottom rung aren't earning the same as 10 years ago. They are earning less. And the disparity in America continues to worsen as this President, as his comment indicates, feels no obligation to help the poor unless he can get something in return for those in far less need of financial assistance: small business owners.
As reported by the Economist this year:
"Even in a country that tolerates inequality, political consequences follow when the rising tide raises too few boats. The impact of stagnant wages has been dulled by rising house prices, but still most Americans are unhappy about the economy. According to the latest Gallup survey, fewer than four out of ten think it is in “excellent” or “good” shape, compared with almost seven out of ten when George Bush took office.
The White House professes to be untroubled. Average after-tax income per person, Mr Bush often points out, has risen by more than 8% on his watch, once inflation is taken into account. He is right, but his claim is misleading, since the median worker—the one in the middle of the income range—has done less well than the average, whose gains are pulled up by the big increases of those at the top."
Last month's retail sales figures gave a bleak picture of what is happening in America.
As reported in the December 1st Chicago Tribune:
"Wal-Mart posted a same-store sales decline of 0.1 percent in November from the year-ago period, the second month in a row of virtually unchanged sales. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company predicts that same-store sales will continue virtually unchanged for December at flat to a 1 percent gain. Sales at stores open at least a year are a key barometer of a retailer's health."
But things are doing much better for stores that cater to wealthier customers and not the hard-scrapple population that depends on Wal-Mart.
The report continues:
"Discounters in general fared poorly in November, with the exception of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which caters to higher-income shoppers. Sales at stores open at least one year at Target rose 5.9 percent. Dollar General Corp. rose 2.2 percent and Family Dollar Stores rose 2.5 percent.
Gap Inc. also had a difficult month with same-store sales down 8 percent.
Upscale stores fared better. Sales at Saks Inc. rose 7.2 percent, Nordstrom Inc. rose 5.4 percent and Federated Department Stores Inc., owner of Macy's, rose 8.5 percent.
Tiffany & Co., the world's largest luxury jeweler, said earlier this week that holiday sales are exceeding expectations; it raised its annual profit forecast based on demand for $20,000 rings and necklaces.
Same-store sales at U.S. luxury retail stores will jump 6 percent in November and December combined from a year ago, the shopping center council saud. That's better than the 4 percent gain the trade group predicts for department stores, 2.5 percent for discounters and 1 percent for apparel chains.
At Mark Shale, the high-end apparel store owned by Woodridge-based Al Baskin Co., sales have been "very good" in October and November, without markdowns, President Scott Baskin said.
"My read is that the better sector is doing OK and the moderate sector isn't," he said."
You know. The rich are getting richer and the poor should just stop complaining about their poor treatment at the hands of the wealthy, or in this case the Republican leadership!
And by the way Mr. President, requiring businesses to pay higher wages might add to our income tax receipts. And if they don't they still are the right thing to be doing.
And you do realize that cutting taxes might just possibly add to the fiscal crisis facing this nation.
As reported by MacLeans:
"The Bush administration has a standard answer for this critique. In a time of war, they say, budget overruns are the inevitable cost of defending freedom and democracy at home and abroad. But that no longer holds water with Washington's budget hawks. They point out that federal spending has risen by $683 billion a year under Bush, less than a third of which has gone to national defence and homeland security.
As a result, the U.S. national debt has surged from $5.7 trillion in the last fiscal year before Bush took office, to over $8.3 trillion and counting. Brian Riedl, a budget analyst with the right-wing Heritage Foundation, says the Bush administration has played the benevolent uncle to every special interest that comes calling, using its spending power to win support in potentially vulnerable constituencies. The No Child Left Behind education bill, for example, was aimed at suburban families; the farm bill at Midwest rural voters; and the prescription drug benefit at the most active voting bloc of all, seniors. "No president since FDR has accelerated spending as fast as Bush has," he groans. "I'm shocked about it, but the numbers show what the numbers show.""
No Mr. President, not every tax cut is good for America.
And No Mr. President, not every upward adjustment of the minimum wage is bad for business.
And No Mr. President, being a compassionate conservative does not mean keeping poor people back.
America needs new leadership in the White House. Things would be so different if Kerry had won in 2004 and if he succeeds in 2008, America will once again have a new direction!
Keep on coming John! We have got your back!