Where do Vermont’s new Republicans find their principles? Apparently, under a rock.
With her commentary, “What they’re not telling you about the $15 minimum wage” (April 2), House minority leader Patricia McCoy furthers the impoverishment of our workers at the bottom of the ladder.
First, boosting the wages of the state’s Walmart employees 50 percent, from $10 to $15 per hour, would result in price increases totaling $0.47 per visit, hardly a burden on the "unemployed elderly" who shop there.
Second, any intelligent politician would work to eliminate the income cap on child care subsidies, since child care is one of the key investments in making children ready for their school years. If we had an equitable tax structure (something Vermont’s new Republicans and centrist Democrats have always opposed), this would be eminently feasible.
The same goes for health care. It was proven in our drive for single-payer that Vermont could do it — if it had a practical payroll tax. For lack of implementing a graduated payroll tax (by which small businesses would pay as little as one-900th of what Walmart would pay), then-Gov. Shumlin pulled the plug. If you want children to do better in school, you want both a $15 minimum wage and child care.
Third, a 0.8% growth in the economy is still a positive growth. Why should it have to be bigger? Did the JFO compute the non-material benefits higher wages bring to a working family, such as more spending power, more control over their financial situation and peace of mind? Since it is in the interests of the party to bash the working class, McCoy, true to the vindictive impulses of the state’s new Republicans, only emphasizes the 0.3% drop in SDP rather than point out it’s not really a problem. The old GOP was never like this.