Friday, November 10, 2006

Time for Democrats to walk the walk

The Democrats' domestic agenda advertised in the last few months clearly resonated with the American people, and two of the biggest issues broached are dealing with a minimum wage* that hasn't been raised in nine years and at a fifty-year historic low in inflation-adjusted dollars as well as reforming our catastrophically broken health care system. Check out the Center for American Progress' new issue briefs on raising the minimum wage and healthcare reform. These are serious problems that can effectively be addressed with progressive, publicly-supported legislative solutions. Let's hope the new Democratic-controlled Congress is ready to not only "talk the talk", but also willing to use their mandate to "walk the walk".

*To refute corporate-sponsored Right Wing think tank claims that raising the minimum leads to an increase in unemployment, Democratic lawmakers would be wise to review this study by the Economic Policy Institute and note this statement by hundreds of respected economists supporting an increase. Also, indexing the federal minimum wage to inflation, as Washington State, Oregon and Florida have done, is another good idea, although it is a somewhat separate debate than whether the floor should be increased this year.

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