WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is the Republican Party’s economic standard bearer. Over the years, his budgets have become the rallying cries for fiscal conservatives. They do exactly what Republicans want budgets to do — slash taxes on the top tiers and privatize social programs. Now, word on the Hill is that Ryan intends to add one more gift to the American right-wing in his new budget — killing the minimum wage altogether.
“I ask you this,” began Ryan at a recent press conference in front of Knavery Financial — an investment brokerage company run by Charles Knavery, heir to the Knavery Capital empire — “what good ever comes of government trying to help anything? Government can’t do anything right. Government is terrible at everything it does. The minimum wage is no different, and that’s why it’s time for it to go.”
Hill staffers say that Ryan is not completely set on adding language to strip the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 of its establishment of a minimum wage, but that he is definitely leaning that direction. “When the FLSA was passed, minimum wage was twenty-five cents an hour. Maybe if it stayed at that rate, I’d be singing another tune. After all, I think two-bits for an hour’s worth of hard work is a fair deal, but the fact is this out of control spending government has raised that rate to a whopping $7.25 an hour! What business can afford to pay its employees at that rate? That’s an increase of over 28 times over eighty years!”
“Government spending is evil,” Ryan said as he adjusted the tie he paid for out of his congressional salary, paid for by the taxpayers. “There’s nothing worse than government spending, but government picking winners and losers by choosing who gets paid what wage? That’s a pretty darned close second if you ask me.”
Rep. Ryan says there’s a major economic reason to lower the minimum wage to zero as well. “The simple fact is, and fiscal conservatives have been saying this since 1938, that a minimum wage suppresses employment, ” Ryan said. “We know for a fact that raising the minimum wage causes a rise in unemployment. Therefore, if we reduce the minimum wage to zero dollars and zero cents an hour, we should see 0% unemployment!”
“Think of all the financial crises we could have avoided if we just had eliminated the minimum wage,” Ryan told the assembled crowd. “We could have stopped the Great Recession in its tracks if we had told those three-quarters of a million people losing their jobs each month that they could get right back in the work force if they’d accept sharecroppers’ wages! People would be working everywhere! We need to take down the barriers between allowing someone to volunteer for slavery and the Federal government. Give me liberty to live in poverty, or give me death!”
At that point, reporters started peppering Ryan with questions. One member of the press representing The Seattle Register asked Ryan how he explains his insistence that minimum wage laws hurt employment against the fact that her state tied minimum wage to cost of living in the late 1990’s and Washington state has beat the national unemployment and job creation numbers ever since.
“Yeah, but I bet your low-wage jobs are all non-existent huh,” quipped Ryan. When the reporter told him that no, in fact the very industry that right-wing pundits claim would be demolished by pegging minimum wage to cost of living actually gained jobs year over year, Ryan’s response was, “What’s that? I can’t hear you over all your socialism!”
Another reporter from The Ft. Georgia Observer asked Rep. Ryan, the 2012 Republican Vice-Presidential nominee — if having no minimum wage ensured full employment, why the Great Depression wasn’t over on October 30th, 1929 when everyone who lost their jobs could just go and work for free. Why, the reporter asked, was there an extended period of joblessness if the whole key to everything was having no minimum wage, and there wasn’t one until nearly ten years after the crash that started it.
Ryan blinked twice and said, “Oh I see, you went to a liberal indoctrination college. I bet you think Calvin Coolidge was a bad president huh? Well, I’ll remind you that FDR built internment camps for the Japanese and other bad stuff too, so, um. Benghazi that, dude. Benghazi that.”
Sources close to Ryan say he will make his decision in the coming weeks just how much to slash the minimum wage in his budget.
Republished from The Political Garbage Chute.
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