Sausage Grinding In All Its Glory. Minimum Wage Today, Higher Gas Taxes Tomorrow.
In a move reportedly designed to head off a ballot initiative, a higher minimum wage was passed and signed by Governor Rick Snyder.
Snyder yesterday signed ‘bipartisan’ legislation raising Michigan’s minimum wage by September to $8.15, and to $9.25 an hour by 2018, a move he said “will help hard-working residents without hindering the state’s improving economy.” SB 934 is now Public Act 138 of 2014.
Oh, and by the way; It should be noted that a majority of the House Republicans voted NO on this. (albeit a small one)
We support those voting no, including one of our Northern Michigan legislators who gets it. Greg MacMaster (R-105) says
“It’s not favorable to business which goes against our plan to improve the economy and make it more predictable for businesses to function. Now, we have forced hem backwards by this ballot initiative scare. This decision should not be made by the government but by the businesses themselves. They know how much they can afford to pay.
He then asks:
If there are businesses that eventually go out of business because of the increase cost of doing business (gas tax, minimum wage, ACA), will the state be willing to bail them out?
Not unless there is some quid pro quo going on in all likelihood.
The “devastating effects” (as far as the est talking points go) are underscored by Wayne Schmidt’s (MacMaster’s primary opponent for the 37th senate race in 2014) “tough decision.” His calamitous talk on this mornings Ron Jolly show of why he supported going against the majority of Republicans was full of the doom and gloom an $0.85 difference between the ballot proposal and this legislation would make.
Certainly, such passion would sell the danger aspect of such an insipid proposal. Certainly such intensity could be brought alongside the numerous economic pitfalls associated with pricing start up employees and tipped wait staff out of work. In a way that shoots down such insanity. Right?
The fear is either palpable, or it is something else.
Senate Bill 934 increases the minimum wage from $7.40 an hour to $9.25 over the next four years and would be adjusted to the rate of inflation or 3.5 percent, whichever is lower, starting in 2019.Tipped employees would have a rate that is 38 percent of the minimum, or about $3.51 an hour. The first increase will be seen by September, when $8.15 an hour is mandated.
September will also be the time which work-age kiddies will return to school, and summer jobs will be emptied. In other words; “no need to destroy Michigan’s economy THIS year,” just before the election.
The usual patting of backs and fluffery comes through the official statement from the governor’s office. Snyder of course commenting; “I commend my partners in the Legislature for finding common ground on a bill that will help Michigan workers and protect our state’s growing economy. Michigan is the comeback state, and our goal always should be long-term success for our residents and our state as a whole.”
Snyder says the bill “represents a compromise and responsibly raises the wage.”
It is absolutely a “compromise.” One of principle, that now leaves the door open for the ballot initiative in 2016 to go to $13.13 an hour. (is there any doubt?) As the positive reinforcement engages the progressive left’s amygdala, it nearly guarantees they will be back for more. Much more.
To be sure, some in the GOP had worried about the “devastating effect” of $10.10 being passed, as well as the thought that a million new ‘minimum wage’ voters would come out to vote in November. But no one considered what might happen if we started reminding folks that a 20% unemployment rate condition is not a great place for anyone at ANY wage level who is seeking employment. A false claim of support for raising the minimum wage to $10.10, has been used to snooker a bunch of spineless dummies in Lansing.
And worse yet, the Republicans who supported this, have further destroyed the GOP’s credibility going forward. Take the comment by Governor Snyder: “will help hard-working residents without hindering the state’s improving economy,” as an example.
It essentially takes away the argument Republicans have traditionally (and correctly) made that higher mandated wages creates unemployment. It pretends that a little initial increase will have no effect, thus guaranteeing an argument (and subsequent initiatives) later that [just a little] more will be as equally benign and harmless.
So much for shutting down the signature gathering effort.
And truly, the Democrats appear to be the politically savvy players in this. If they had expectations of the $10.10 signature campaign being fruitful in November, they sure as heck didn’t show it. Why on earth would they toss away the holy grail of double digit minimum wages, and a sure fire get-out-the-vote effort so willingly, unless they had a better outcome planned?
They (the Dems) knew it was impossible to pass the initiative once people realized the ‘devastating’ effects of $10.10. They also knew that a 65% polling favor of raising the minimum wage from a survey of 600 is pure hogwash. Especially when the polling was done by an outfit run by former Democrat party communications director Dennis Denno:
Dennis Denno is the chief of staff for Michigan state Sen. Virgil Smith (D-Detroit). Previously, he worked for Sen. Buzz Thomas for eight years and one year as the communications director for the Michigan House of Representatives Democratic Caucus. Prior to that, he was the communications director for the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP).
Indeed, the progressives can hardly complain.
They certainly got what they wanted, didn’t they? Only TWO Dems voted against it in the house, and only two Dems voted against it in the senate. Hardly a conflicted place for any of them.
Nope, there is absolutely NO WAY the backers of the $10.10 petition drive can kvetch about losing their precious ballot initiative; as they are represented wholly on SB 934’s passage.
It seems unlikely that the GOP as a whole could be so politically naive.
We aren’t the only ones scratching our heads either. Tom LaDuke at FTR recognizes that we need to let the initiative come up and FAIL for what it is. In “Michigan Gives Up,” he says:
“The GOP braintrust will argue that they got ahead of a bad deal and are saving jobs. All wage increases kill jobs. All. If you can’t have a very public debate about this shame on you. If you do and lose being the ballot proposal passes than the state tanks and your hands are clean. You bury the Dems for a generation and you did it on principle, not political expediency because there is a election this November and you really want to be liked.
Emphasis, my own.
One would think the Mi GOP leadership and its sycophantic following is outright stupid then, right?
There are certainly dynamics in play. But .. Consider what is next, and you all can tell me. Its no surprise that so many Republicans sold out on what little conservative credibility they had remaining.
When that road funding package comes up in the next few days, there will be plenty of boot licking from the left side of the aisle.