Yes To Tax Cuts & Loopholes - No To Fair Pay Legislation genre: Econ-Recon & Polispeak


Understanding the dynamics of the November election isn't all that complex if one simply takes the time to draw some necessary comparisons. In many ways, the policies of the Bush administration have provided the essential contrast. With that as the backdrop, we ought to be able to make prudent political decisions as an electorate. Further, it should guide the actions of our elected officials. Unfortunately, that may not always be the case.

Today, the defeat of legislation that would have enabled employees to pursue redress should it be determined that they have been unfairly discriminated against with regards to equitable pay highlights the division between those who foster favors for the wealthy (the GOP) and those who believe the fair treatment of the individual is an imperative (the Democrats).

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that makes it tougher for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

Democratic presidential rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton interrupted their campaigns to return to the Senate to vote for the bill. The measure would lift tight time restraints to file claims that could expire before workers realize they were treated unfairly.

On a 56-42 vote, mostly Democratic supporters of the bill fell short of the needed 60 in the 100-member Senate to clear a Republican procedural hurdle and move toward passage of the bill approved earlier by the House of Representatives.

The blocked Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, named for an Alabama woman who lost her case in the Supreme Court last year, is backed by women's and civil rights groups that argue it would give workers a fair chance for justice.

On average in the United States, women are paid about 23 percent less than men, while minorities receive even less -- despite laws that mandate equal pay for equal work.

The White House said it opposed discrimination in the workplace. But it threatened to veto the bill if Congress passed it, saying in a statement the measure would "impede justice and undermine the important goal of having allegations of discrimination expeditiously resolved."

Backers of the bill complained that the Supreme Court, in its 5-4 ruling last May, reversed decades of legal precedent by declaring discrimination claims must be filed within 180 days of the first alleged offense.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential candidate, did not return to Washington to vote on the bill.

I suspect the McCain absence was intentional and in keeping with his efforts to straddle the political divide. Unfortunately, his actions betray his even-handed, straight talking proclamations. John McCain supports cutting corporate taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent. He has also reversed his position with regard to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Once opposed to these cuts, he now argues they are an important element of his economic platform.

When push comes to shove, voters need look no further than examples of this nature to discern where the candidates...and the party's stand...and where their bread is buttered. Back in 1992, "It's the economy stupid" became the mantra attached to the presidential election. Following eight years of George W. Bush's ransacking of the economy while rewarding the wealthy with more wealth, may I suggest we simply remember the following, "It's the haves versus the have-nots, stupid".

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November’s election is an opportunity to say no to more of George Bush’s failed economy and his enrichment of the wealthy. John McCain’s absence on today’s fair pay bill, his support for the Bush tax cuts, and his willingness to cut corporate taxes sho... [Read More]

Tracked on April 23, 2008 10:44 PM

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