Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Simple Truth On Sweeney and the Minimum Wage

Sweeney's claims about what he supports and what he does are two different things. It is time to hold Sweeney accountable for what really matters: his actions. Words mean nothing when the votes contradict them. On 6/19/06 the Post Star gave Sweeney a headline that claimed Sweeney supported increasing the Minimum Wage.

On 6/22/06, they revealed more of the real story behind Sweeney's typical say one thing and do the opposite actions. Sweeney walked out of the room when it came time to cast a vote and put the ballot where his mouth was.

Today, John Sweeney stood with the right-wing Congress and voted to dismiss a move by Rep. George Miller to increase the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over two years. Sweeney's vote meant that an effort to raise the minimum wage would not even be considered on the floor of Congress.

Bye Bye to the "just give us an up or down vote" branch of the GOP.

An increase in the Federal Minimum wage will help New York's small businesses compete in the US marketplace since NY has a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum.

When adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage is at its lowest level in 50 years. Americans need this raise. It is estimated that 15 million Americans could benefit from a minimum wage increase and raising the minimum wage has actually had a positive effect on the economy.

“Today, President Bush touted the fourth largest deficit in American history and John Sweeney voted against a pay raise for hard-working New Yorkers,” said Bill Burton, communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Only George Bush and the Republican Congress could pull off both feats in the same day. With workers making less than they have made in 50 years and John Sweeney voting against a minimum wage increase, it’s clearly time for a new direction in Washington.”

A reality check for those who like to quote the corporate lobbyists: a minimum wage increase is not bad for workers nor is it bad for the economy.

In the four years after the last increase, the economy enjoyed its strongest growth in over three decades, adding almost 11 million new jobs. Plus small business employment between 1997 and 2003 grew more in states with a higher minimum wage than in Federal minimum wage states (9.4 percent versus 6.6 percent).

Kirsten Gillibrand isn't going to say one thing and do another when she is elected.

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