To the Editor:
I had drafted an amendment earlier this session, increasing the minimum wage to $10 per hour, using a business tax cut to pay for it. Three years ago, I introduced another amendment to a similar bill that would’ve raised it to $9 per hour. In both cases, both of the two major political parties balked at the $28 million a year in “lost revenue” if stores and restaurants were allowed to keep more of the meals & rooms tax revenue to fund the pay raise for entry-level workers.
Both of my proposed amendments involved a good deal of research and work, and yet most of our legislators simply set the amendment aside on the table during the hearing even as I’d argued the case for it, giving the idea no more of their attention. Very few proposals in Concord would’ve done more to help the working class in this state. Yet Concord is starting to resemble other state legislatures and Congress, where powerful monied interests get their way, while the taxpayers who pay for it all are conveniently forgotten.
Congress has voted to raise the minimum wage 19 times since WWII, but all 19 times, unemployment has gone up, while youth and minority unemployment have increased dramatically. If there’s no business tax cut to pay for a minimum wage increase, small business owners have told us that they’d have to cut back on hours, lay people off, stop hiring, or even close down. How can we be better off as a society with fewer people working fewer hours, producing less? Why not just give up some of the bureaucratic largess, needless lawsuits, unfunded mandates, or even legislative carelessness to help thousands of our fellow Granite Staters make ends meet?
State Rep. Max Abramson
Rep. MAX ABRAMSON
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