Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stealing money from waiters and waitresses

I thought it was bad enough when the Republicans tacked their estate tax cut to the proposed raise in the federal minimum wage, but this is truly sickening. I had to read this article twice because I couldn't believe that it did not say the opposite of what it says.
Nevada, California and Washington are among seven states where workers get to keep their tips on top of getting paid their state's full minimum wage. In other states, tip-earning workers get paid less and make up the difference with tips.

A provision in GOP-written minimum wage legislation passed by the House and under consideration this week by the Senate could change the law in those seven states - the others are Montana, Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon. It would deal a pay cut of $3 or more an hour to thousands of waiters, bellhops and hairdressers in those states, according to Democrats and labor groups.
Yes, that's right. The law would make it illegal for states to enforce minimum wage laws that require employers to pay a full wage to their employees. The fact that this legislation is packaged with a minimum wage increase means that while some minimum wage-earning workers will get a much-needed pay increase, anyone (in the seven states who do require a full minimum wage be paid to tipped workers) who works at a restaurant will actually see a pay decrease.

And, in case you're wondering, the wingnuts are all of a sudden shaking their fingers at the heartless Democrats for opposing an increase in the minimum wage. And what reason does Rush give for the Democratic opposition to the estate tax cut (not to mention the waitress wage cut): class envy. We Democrats are jealous of people inheriting too much money.

Me, I remember not too long ago when we were all elitist latte-drinking trust fund babies living in (dare I say it?) Massachusetts. Which is it already?

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