Friday, March 11, 2005
She had been discussing the proposal to raise the minimum wage, especially Senator Bachmann's opposition to it. Then, just as she was going to a break, she mentioned the $28,000 in pay raises that members of Congress had given themselves since 1996 (the last time the federal minimum wage was increased) and calculated that those raises totaled somewhere around $9 million (not exactly sure how the math works on that one). She then asked:.According to the last survey available, there are 545,000 workers earning exactly the minimum wage. That means that we could distribute $16.51 to each minimum wage worker instead of the $9 million she thinks is paid additionally to Congress. Since these workers are probably working around 1500 hours a year (two-thirds are part-time workers, mainly teens) and since this is distributed from 1996 to current, I think, it's unlikely $9 million could raise wages even one cent.
"Couldn't they have spared a few pennies of that $9 million to go toward raising the minimum wage?"
Of course, minimum wages are paid by firms; Congresscritter wages are paid by taxes. In Wendy Wilde's world, those might seem to be the same thing.