January 10, 2007


Tax Cut Measure Could Be a Stumbling Block for Increase in Minimum Wage (STEVEN GREENHOUSE, 1/10/07, NY Times)

The bill's chances are less certain in the Senate, largely because of friction over a Republican push to include tax breaks for small business in the bill. Senate Republicans have hinted that, without such tax cuts, they will filibuster the measure, a move that the bill's supporters would need 60 votes to overcome. [...]

After opposing a minimum-wage increase for years, many Republicans now say they favor one, but only if it is coupled with a tax cut for restaurants and other small businesses -- the groups they say would be hurt most by the wage increase.

"The Democrat leadership's unbalanced proposal may increase the minimum wage, but it leaves small businesses and their workers to fend for themselves," said Representative Howard P. McKeon of California, the ranking Republican on the Education and Labor Committee.

On Tuesday, Mr. McKeon and Jim McCrery of Louisiana, the senior Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced a competing minimum-wage bill that includes billions of dollars in tax breaks. One such break would allow faster depreciation for newly built restaurants, allowing them to record the building cost on financial statements over 15 years instead of the current rule of 39 years, and thus lower taxes.

President Bush has said he might accept a higher minimum wage, but only if it is tied to tax cuts to soften the blow for business.

People actually pay taxes--no one makes minimum wage.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2007 8:09 AM
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