Saturday, January 20, 2007

Updates on Two Recent SWNIDisms: New Developments, Nothing New

We note today that Libertarian Uebermench Paul Hackett will not be charged for tracking down non-deadly criminals with deadly force. No surprise here, as a prosecution of a prominent Democrat for an alleged vigilante-style gun crime (note to NRA types: we didn't say he committed a gun crime or that what he did even should be illegal if it is, so chill) would have been political suicide for Republican prosecutor Joe Deters.

We note also that the promised increase in the federal minimum wage is now a matter of internal dispute among the Ds and so is unlikely to be passed anytime soon. Senate Ds, needing support from Rs and probably from their own moderates, not to mention something to give the President so he doesn't veto the bill, want to add to the bill some tax breaks for small businesses, ostensibly to offset the additional costs of the wage increase, though the offset would hardly correspond to any particular business's wage expenses. House Ds, trying to remain as true to their image as champions of the proletariat against the capitalists, are insisting that the Senate pass the bill as it stands without any evil tax breaks for the fat cats.

The result will be that the Senate will either never debate the bill, or a no-tax-cut version will never get cloture and a vote, or a with-tax-cuts version will pass and a final bill will never emerge from the House-Senate conference. Any way it goes, though, it will be the Republicans' fault that America doesn't get a raise.

Why would the Ds let this happen? Because they'd rather have the minimum wage as an issue to run on than actually raise the minimum wage. They know that a minimum wage increase is bad social policy and bad economics. But for Ds it's good politics if it never happens. So there's no surprise here, either.

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