Yesterday, Bob Geiger and the AFL-CIO Blog broke the story that 28 conservative Senators tried to outright eliminate the federal minimum wage.
Immediately, the blogosphere reacted in shock, at both the raw cruelty and the political inanity.
TomPaine.com labelled the whole lot, "The Senate Anti-Worker Caucus," fundamentally out of touch with the electorate, since "Voters in November had a simple request: They wanted an increase in the federal minimum wage."
Mahablog argues this just means the decades-long, right-wing "War on Workers" refuses to quit and must be forcefully challenged.
MyDD named some key names: "Does [Sen. John] Cornyn think that he is invincible in Texas in 2008, despite his 44% approval rating? Does [Sen. John] Sununu even plan on running for re-election in New Hampshire? Does anyone still think [Sen. John] McCain is a moderate? ... can we please tone down the Hagel worship in the blogosphere?"
Most cowardly, they weren't even honest with America's workers about what they were up to, masking their agenda with calls for "state flexibility." At least, conservative pundit hero George Will proudly says the federal minimum wage should be zero.
Of course, no worker gets a vote on whether George Will stays in his job.
So, what should the response to the right-wing be? Stand on principle, face down conservatives, and insist on a "clean" bill free of business giveaways? Or accommodate, and compromise on a "dirty" bill?
As of now, the Senate leadership plans to accommodate.
But now he's looking to make a slight improvement to his dirty bill: paying for the revenue loss of wider business loopholes, by closing different business loopholes.
The Washington Post reports that the committee will "consider a proposal to sharply limit the earnings corporate executives and other highly paid employees can place tax-free into deferred compensation plans, one of the most popular executive benefits in corporate America." According to CQ.com, that means executive pay over $1 million would be subject to the 35% income tax rate.