It doesn’t take anything as fancy as a grandfather clock to know what time it is in Washington, DC this week. The Democrats finally caved to the inevitable this week, passing a relatively clean war funding bill that contains no timetables, no deadlines and no benchmarks.
Common sense and military logic finally prevailed, as well as plummeting approval ratings for the Pelosi-led Congress and Reid-led Senate. Unable to offer any sort of War On Terror victory to their MoveOn.org puppet masters, Democrats fled to less controversial territory by attaching a significant minimum wage increase to the war funding bill, so that at least they had something to brag about.
While attaching unrelated riders to bills in this manner is always a disgusting practice, it could have been a lot worse: it could have been a timetable for leaving Iraq.
The federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour will be boosted to $7.25 per hour if Bush signs the bill into law, which he is expected to do. While pure conservatives might balk, it’s time to face facts: it doesn’t matter what the federal minimum wage is.
The federal minimum wage is almost irrelevant anyway. $5.15 per hour is a pittance and hasn’t been updated for over a decade, mostly because virtually no employer can pay that little and get any kind of qualified employee to fill a job anyway. Even at $7.25, most employers have to pay more than that these days to fill jobs, so who cares if it’s $5.15 or $7.25? It’s not like any employers … even fast food chains … pay that low anymore anyway.
Heck, most states have a higher state minimum wage than $7.25 an hour, so the federal change means nothing throughout most of the country. And if it’s enough of a victory to get the Democrats to pass a clean war funding bill with no timetables, deadlines or benchmarks, well… fine. It’s a pretty meaningless victory for them, and a big win for Bush, who proves that he’s no lame duck … not yet, anyway.