Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dang Automated Responses by Politicians

I received this e-mail in response to one I sent to my senator about not supporting raising the minimum wage but to support workers by not allowing additional legislation that hurts them. Increasing the minimum wage could hurt them but hurting society through the aggravation of inflation.

Other, more effective iniatives could be done than just increasing the minimum wage. How about tax cuts for the unwealthy and increased taxes on the wealthy?

June 20, 2006

Dear Mr. Lex:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for increasing the minimum wage. I appreciate your interest in this important issue.

Raising the minimum wage is an important way to address the needs of hard-working families as they strive to make a living and put enough food on the table to meet their basic needs. Today's minimum wage leaves the typical family of three $5,000 below the poverty level, even if a parent works full-time, year-round. Many people are surprised to learn that 44 percent of minimum wage workers work full time. The average minimum wage worker earns more than half of his or her family's weekly earnings, and 37 percent of minimum wage workers are their family's sole breadwinner.

The minimum wage has not changed since 1997. I have joined in introducing legislation in each of the last several Congresses to update the minimum wage. Most recently, on March 3, 2005, I cosponsored an amendment to the Bankruptcy Reform bill (S. 256) that would have increased the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour over a 26 month period. With the Senate voting nearly along party lines, the measure failed by a vote of 46-49. While Illinois has increased its minimum wage to $6.50, this measure would have offered a further wage increase to approximately 333,000 Illinoisans who struggle to make ends meet.

I will continue to work for a long overdue increase in the federal minimum wage. Thanks again for sharing your views on this important issue.


Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

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