Missouri Politics Catch Up Day

Claire McCaskill is making news, and it’s not a good sign for liberals. Here is the header on an article at Politico:

The article suggests that McCaskill and other “moderate” Democrats are “looking for ways to roll back the highly contentious individual mandate,” and that’s not all:

The senators are prepared to break with the White House on a wide range of issues: embracing deeper spending cuts, scaling back business regulations and overhauling environmental rules.

While there was no hard evidence presented to support these assertions, and while McCaskill has been a fairly solid supporter of President Obama, McCaskill did find herself prominently featured in a segment on The Rachel Maddow Show, in which Saint Rachel mailed a life-sized cutout of former Senator Blanche Lincoln—who ran away from the Democratic Party and got trounced in Arkansas—to remind McCaskill of what will happen if she waxes Lincolnesque in Missouri:

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FiredUp!Missouri alerted us to an outstanding piece at the Riverfront Times by Chad Garrison.  Provocatively but understandably titled, “Does Making Missouri More ‘Job Friendly’ Always Require Screwing the Working Class?” Mr. Garrison explores the consequences of our fanatically “pro business” anti-worker Republican legislature:

One of the proposals would repeal Missouri’s minimum wage law, allowing employers to pay low-wage employees even less. Another would make it easier to terminate employees. Also in the sights of Missouri legislators is an effort to eliminate the state income tax and replace it with a higher sales tax — a move that allows poorer Missourians to shoulder more of the state’s tax burden.

I recommend all readers go to the site and read the entire piece, which among other things discusses Missouri’s 2006 Proposition B. The initiative passed in every county in Missouri and statewide garnered 76% of the vote, in support of raising the state minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. Garrison points out that Darden Restaurants, which has two franchises in Joplin—Red Lobster and Olive Garden—donated $25,000 to an effort to kill the proposition.  Various McDonald’s also donated money to stop the effort to raise the minimum wage.

As Garrison notes, the beef with the wage mandate is this:

Missouri law states that tipped employees must be paid half of the prevailing minimum wage (a.k.a. $3.63 per hour), which is more than the federal law for tipped employees of $2.13.

Oh my God. Pay them $3.63? Why, that’s outrageous.

All Missouri workers should read Garrison’s piece, especially those working stiffs tempted to support Republicans, who are doing everything they can to wage war on those who make the country what it is.  Garrison links to an organized effort in Missouri to change Missouri’s labor laws—which are already heavily tilted in favor of employers—to make them even more anti-worker.

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Closer to home, Ozark Billy Long made the local paper.  The front page of Sunday’s Joplin Globe prominently featured an article on the possible elimination of a federal program that subsidizes airline service to about 150 cities around the country, including here in Joplin.  Whoops!  When we sent Ozark Billy to Washington to shrink the government, we didn’t mean shrink the part of the government that makes life easier for business travelers and other local bigwigs who can afford to pay the expensive fares to fly out of Joplin!

Our airport manager and city officials, according to the paper, say the subsidized service is “a vital link to economic development.”  Yeah, that’s what they all say.  These officials will, of course, lobby our legislators to keep the subsidy in place.

As for Ozark Billy, the Globe points out that he is a member of the House Republican Study Committee, a radical bunch of tea partiers that has already proposed killing the subsidy program, which will pay American Eagle nearly $3 million annually for service to Dallas twice a day.

But the paper reported that Ozark Billy “wasn’t sure where he might come down on the proposal.”  Ah…It’s so easy to talk all that smack about cutting government spending, as long as it is spending on the poor or the working class.  Cut! Cut! Cut! says our congressman. But when it involves cutting subsidies for business travelers and wealthy jetsetters, it gets a little harder for some Republicans.

[Photo: Globe/T. Rob Brown]
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