Steve Benen of the Carpetbagger Report has a nice post on the minimum wage. Its short, and hits the point very well. I’m just gonna go ahead and steal the whole thing. What follows is Steve’s post in its entirety…
Last month, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) bemoaned the notion of lawmakers working more hours on the Hill. Families, he said, are more important. Kingston told the WaPo, in response to a Dem proposal to extend the congressional work week to five days, “Keeping us up here eats away at families. Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families — that’s what this says.”
With this in mind, Kingston has some interesting ideas about how low-income families can get out of poverty.
Last night, Kingston shared some advice with Americans living in poverty: work longer hours. During House debate over the minimum wage, Kingston said raising the minimum wage would do nothing for poor Americans. Instead, if people marry and work longer hours, “they would be out of poverty,” he said. “It’s an economic fact.”
(Note from cactus – my incompetence with blogger prevents me from indenting the above paragraph as Benen did in the original. My apologies.)
First, if people work longer hours, won’t that “eat away at families”?
Second, as Nico helpfully points out, “The annual salary for workers earning the national minimum wage still leaves a family of three about $6,000 short of the poverty threshold.” In most instances, overtime pay isn’t much of an option. In other words, working longer hours won’t solve the problem.
If Kingston and his like-minded allies believe the minimum wage should stay at $5.15, let them explain why. Coming up with silly excuses to reject an increase only leaves Kingston looking foolish. Again.