The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that a minimum wage hike cannot be included in the COVID-19 relief bill.
In response, one Democratic senator proposed a plan that is somehow even worse than the original one.
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden suggested in a Friday tweet that he was “exploring a tax penalty for mega-corporations that refuse to pay a living wage.”
I’m exploring a tax penalty for mega-corporations that refuse to pay a living wage. This isn’t over. https://t.co/r78iNFE7sO
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 26, 2021
Since the Senate parliamentarian denied Democrats’ bid to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Wyden now wants to charge corporations “a fee equal to 5% of their total payroll” if they do not pay workers an amount that he deems sufficient, the Washington Examiner reported.
Wyden is not stopping at big corporations, however. He also wants to encourage small businesses, many of which cannot reasonably afford to pay all of their employees $15 an hour, to raise their wages.
“At the same time, I want to incentivize the smallest of small businesses — those with middle-class owners — to raise their workers’ wages,” he said in a statement, according to the Examiner.
“My plan would provide an income tax credit equal to 25 percent of wages, up to $10,000 per year per employer to small businesses that pay their workers higher wages.”
This plan still ignores the obvious fact that if big corporations are forced to pay employees $15 an hour, they will simply lay off many of the workers. Wyden said his plan would include measures that prevent companies “from trying to outsource labor to avoid paying living wages,” but it won’t work.
Even if companies are prohibited from outsourcing labor — which seems unlikely — they would still get rid of unnecessary employees. If a corporation is forced to pay employees $15 an hour, it will more likely than not consolidate its workforce and give more tasks to fewer employees.
Many progressives were very angry with the parliamentarian’s decision. Self-declared Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont claimed her assessment was “denying 30 million Americans a pay raise.”
I strongly disagree with the parliamentarian’s ruling about the minimum wage. But the people are demanding an end to starvation wages in America. We will not give up. We must get this done. pic.twitter.com/qt6mYJU7fl
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 26, 2021
In reality, it is more likely that she was preventing millions of Americans from losing their jobs. The Washington Examiner previously reported that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would lead to 1.4 million net job losses in the next four years, according to a Congressional Budget Office report.
Yet that is not even the reason that the parliamentarian denied the minimum wage hike from being included in the coronavirus relief package. Rather, she “ruled that the provision was not compliant with rules governing the budget process that Congress is using to pass the bill with simple majorities,” according to NBC News.
This is a bit ironic considering the fact that Senate Democrats decided to utilize the budget reconciliation process in order to avoid a filibuster as they try to pass their desired relief bill. Now, that same process is preventing them from forcing their minimum wage increase into the package.
“The so-called Byrd rule limits acceptable provisions in the reconciliation process to those that involve taxing and spending,” NBC reported, which is why the parliamentarian said a wage hike could not be included in the bill.
“Democrats can still try to pass a wage hike through regular order, but that would require 60 Senate votes, which all but ensures failure because of a lack of Republican support.”
Democrats claim that there is huge support for a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, but it simply is not true. Most Republicans oppose such a drastic increase, which is why liberals tried to pass it via simple majority.
If a $15 minimum wage was such a universally loved idea, Democrats would not have so much trouble garnering 60 votes in the Senate. Instead, it is actually a controversial idea that the left wishes to misrepresent as a moderate one.
Wyden’s “Plan B” also demonstrates the fact that Democrats are still more concerned with passing their agenda than they are with providing relief for Americans during the pandemic.
Instead of just removing the provision and getting relief passed, Wyden wants to try yet another method to push radical policy into a bill meant to help our citizens in a time of need.
While those on the left claim to be fighting for low-income Americans, their actions continually suggest the opposite.
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