Moloch and the Minimum Wage (Updated)

This is why the radical Republican GOP has to be crushed.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade, but added small-business tax breaks that are unacceptable to House leaders, preventing Democrats from claiming a quick victory on one of their top legislative priorities.

The Senate voted 94 to 3 in favor of the measure, which would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 over two years.

To attract Republican support, Senate leaders agreed to extend tax credits and expand deductions for businesses that would be hit hardest by the minimum-wage increase. Those tax breaks, worth $8.3 billion over 10 years, are coupled with a proposal to raise taxes by a similar amount on corporations, their chief executives and other highly paid workers.

Not because they stuffed a bill to help ordinary workers with yet more tax breaks for business but because they did so in defiance of a) reality and b) us.

The minimum wage hasn’t been raised in a decade. It is overwhelmingly approved in every poll by practically every demographic group except the rich, the super-rich, and the corporatocracy. American voters unceremoniously threw the Pubs out of both houses of Congress only three months ago as much because of rampant corruption as Iraq, and there is not a shred of evidence that the “damage” they insist the business community must be protected from actually exists.

In fact, studies show that a higher minimum wage helps the economy of the communities that have one, or at the very least does no harm whatever. Yet here they are, righteous in their Social Darwinist faith, loyal to Friedmania, thumbing their noses at democracy and using the power they have to go right on slavishly serving the interests of the rich as if they were bought-and-paid-for-robots programmed for a single function.

Which, of course, is exactly what they are.

The “new” conservative GOP has jettisoned all pretense of being anything other than a collection of devoted Molochian boot-lickers, tame enablers of the corporatocracy whose job is to make sure The Master gets what He wants even if – especially if – the people starve in the process. In fact, thereisnospoon at My Left Wing makes a fairly convincing case that they’ve abandoned conservatism altogether in favor of a Bizzarro-world reverse “liberalism”.

Corporate Cons, TheoCons and NeoCons all shun balanced budgets. They shun George Washington’s warnings against foreign entanglements. They shun the notion of small government. They shun the notion of aristocracy understood as such by the public (not that they don’t attempt to enforce it de facto by other means, of course). They shun responsible stewardship of the environment. They shun the notion of investment in social programs. They shun traditional conservative pessimism about the ability of governments to enforce their traditions and beliefs onto others. And their rhetoric about the benign consequences of allowing people utter freedom to do whatever they will economically is almost Emersonian, shunning every conservative, Humeian conservative tradition.

They aren’t conservatives at all, in fact. They’re simply an evil version of Liberalism. (emphasis in the original)

They have not learned a lesson from November because they’re incapable of learning, and anyway, what we want/think/feel doesn’t matter. Moloch speaks, they obey. It’s as simple as that.

There can be no quarter. There can be no compromise. Already the advance of corporate Molochianism has all but swallowed American culture. Our educational system is turning into one long corporate-sponsored job-training session; music, art, theater, and literature are co-opted by commercial interests the moment any general interest is shown in them; sports events are little more now than very long ads for corporate products occasionally interrupted by HappyTalk and a few seconds of action; and corporate advertisers now assume that all public spaces are theirs by Divine Right and may be annexed by them anywhere, any time.

When your democracy is being eaten alive by $$$, “compromise” is a luxury you can’t afford.

Update: The House says, “No deal.”

To cover the costs of those provisions, the bill would close loopholes used by corporations that do business overseas and increase penalties for tax evasion. It would also place new restrictions on one of the most popular perquisites in corporate America by forbidding executives from deferring more than $1 million in pay every year and placing the money in tax-deferred accounts. Anyone who exceeded the allowable amount would be forced to pay taxes on all income deferred since Dec. 31, 2006, plus a 20 percent penalty.

House leaders have demanded that the tax measures be stripped from the bill. They argue that business needs no additional help after six years of breaks from the Bush administration and that, in any case, procedural rules require revenue bills to originate in the House.

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