What a difference a decade makes! Remember in 2009 when Republicans were absolutely apocalyptic about the size of the national deficit?
"We must have a balanced budget amendment! We must have fiscal responsibility! What about our children?! What about our grandchildren?!" Strange days indeed.
But the days are no less strange today. Because suddenly none of that seems to matter anymore. After years of steady progress in slowing the size of our national debt, the Trump administration has succeeded in kicking it into overdrive again. And not for sound reasons, like helping to pull a distressed economy out of a recession. No, times are good, so I'm not exactly sure what their thought process was. Well, other than a money grab.
In any case, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) opined this week that the federal minimum wage should be $20/hour, not the $15 targeted in a bill passed by the House this week. This got way more traction than one would expect from a first-term congressperson at an obscure event in Detroit on a Sunday. But then Tlaib is one of the young, women-of-color representatives whom the President has decided to bully. This then qualifies as news. Even though there isn't the remotest chance the federal minimum wage is going up at all anytime soon.
But let's say it were a possibility. There are several very good reasons to argue against a swift rise to $20/hour. But can you see why a young, low-wage worker would be loathe to accept them from an older "fiscal conservative"?
John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.