Saturday, September 02, 2006
Cost of Living and the Minimum Wage
The federal minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. During the past nine years, while the minimum wage has remained the same, members of Congress have voted to give themselves pay raises -- technically "cost of living increases" -- totaling $31,600, or more than $15 an hour for a 40-hour week, 52 weeks a year.
While the minimum wage has remained stagnant since 1997, Congress has enacted legislation that has reduced estate tax burdens in eight of the past nine years. The minimum wage bill that passed the House but was rejected by the Senate last month, would have benefited 5.6 million workers, while the estate tax reduction primarily benefits 8,200 very wealthy estates.