In terms of sheer, unmitigated callousness, this may be the worst thing the Republican Congress has ever done. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the minimum wage “increase” bill that just passed the House and is now in the Senate would in fact decrease the minimum wage in some places, by invalidating the way some states have changed the rules around how tips and wages are calculated. From the EPI piece:
H.R. 5970 is the first time in history that the federal government has acted to put a ceiling on minimum wage levels, rather than establishing a national floor from which the states can make improvements.
Remember that this is on top of tying this mess to the Paris Hilton tax cut. So if you live in an expensive city and love it but are waiting tables and scraping your way out of debt, you’re going to get your wages cut, while sister Paris, god bless her, gets a cool $91 million out of the deal. Makes sense, right? We wouldn’t want to, you know, punish the people who work the hardest or anything.
As an added stab of irony, this bill would go partway towards fixing another tax related disaster that I’ve had the pleasure of being personally affected by, the Alternative Minimum Tax. (My whole sob story is here, in the form of written testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, if you’re morbidly curious). But instead of being able to get on board with the good folks over at ReformAMT, I now have the singular pleasure of actively opposing something that would right an injustice that was visited on both myself and many of my friends. Senator Feinstein: don’t even think about it.