Thursday, August 03, 2006

"Trifecta" Good, Bad, Or Indifferent?

The Senate this week is considering a sweeping legislative package that includes a permanent reduction of the estate tax, extensions of various tax policies critical to economic growth and job creation, and an increase in the national minimum wage. It has already passed the House, and the question is whether the Democrats will muster enough votes to sustain a filibuster.

Yes, you heard correctly - Senate Donks are going to try to kill a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage by 40%. I guess we now know for certain how much they value "giving the working poor a raise" versus anally gang-raping the "rich" with electrified jackhammers. Or perhaps it's just their expectation that they can bully the GOP majority into detatching the minimum wage hike from the rest of the bill, resulting in its overwhelming passage and the defeat of the estate tax cut and other tax "goodies" both on the strength of RINO defections. God knows it's been a successful tactic for them in this Congress.

Interestingly, blogospheric opinion on this omnibus bill is also a trifecta. The Left wants to see it torpedoed for the majority's unmitigated gall of linking one of the Dems' pet issues to a bill they detest so that the minority can run on a "do-nothing Congress" platform (which is laughable given the unimaginable lengths of obstruction to which the Democrats have gone the last year and a half). The Right also wants to see it go down, for the mirror opposite reason (as well as the fact that the estate tax reduction is itself a craven retreat from outright abolition, making the cave-in on the minimum wage increase not worth the cost in principle and sheer honor).

The Center (surprise, surprise, surprise) absolutely adores the "Trifecta" and wants to see it not just passed and signed into law, but commemorated with a golden calf to be erected right smack in the middle of the Capitol Mall. Or perhaps it should be the beast of Revelation, illustrative of the mismatched amalgam of economic justice, fiscal chair-reshuffling, and entry-level job destruction this bill represents.

Looking at it on the merits, I frankly don't give a fig either way. But it's difficult not to feel at least a little sympathy for any measure that sends "Dirty Harry" Reid off the deep end yet again.

UPDATE: For what it's worth, the Dem filibuster was sustained, as the vote on cloture fell four votes short. Now the minority will have its minimum wage issue that is back-burner at best, and Pachyderms will wonder what might have been if they had stuck to their guns and gone for an estate tax repeal instead of this too-clever-by-half gimmickry.

[h/t: Jason the commenter - who might want to learn the difference between a bill falling short of cloture and a bill "voted down" before condescending to others about unspecified "mistakes." Hope you keep coming on back now, though. Who knows, you might just learn something.]