Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leading advocate of shrinking entitlement spending and the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare, spent Wednesday evening sipping $350 wine with two like-minded conservative economists at the swanky Capitol Hill eatery Bistro Bis.More on Ryan from TPM:
Susan Feinberg, an associate business professor at Rutgers, was at Bistro Bis celebrating her birthday with her husband that night. When she saw the label on the bottle of Jayer-Gilles 2004 Echezeaux Grand Cru Ryan's table had ordered, she quickly looked it up on the wine list and saw that it sold for an eye-popping $350, the most expensive wine in the house along with one other with the same pricetag.The Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25/hour. Assuming a 40-hour workweek and two minimum wage earners, that's $580 before taxes.
Feinberg, an economist by training, was even more appalled when the table ordered a second bottle. She quickly did the math and figured out that the $700 in wine the trio consumed over the course of 90 minutes amounted to more than the entire weekly income of a couple making minimum wage.
"We were just stunned," said Feinberg, who e-mailed TPM about her encounter later the same evening. "I was an economist so I started doing the envelope calculations and quickly figured out that those two bottles of wine was more than two-income working family making minimum wage earned in a week."
But of course the Tea Party wing of the GOP wants to look at eliminating the minimum wage:
Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has soft-pedaled her opposition to the minimum wage law considerably since 2005, when she was quoted as saying, at a Minnesota State Senate hearing, “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage—if conceivably it was gone—we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” Appearing on CBS’s (CBS) Face the Nation on June 26, Bachmann would say only that eliminating the minimum wage is “something that obviously Congress would have to look at” as a solution to high unemployment.And then there's Senator Orrin Hatch who thinks the poor aren't doing enough to help out:
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) voted against beginning debate on a measure that would have the Senate declare the rich should share the pain of debt reduction Thursday, a day after arguing that it's the poor and middle class who need to do more.The point of all this?
"I hear how they're so caring for the poor and so forth," Hatch said in remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, in reference to Democrats. "The poor need jobs! And they also need to share some of the responsibility."
Hatch's comments were aimed at a motion that passed 74 to 22 to start debating a non-binding resolution that says millionaires and billionaires should play a more meaningful role in reducing the nation's debt.
Just to let you all know that this is the GOP these days. To all my Republican friends (and relatives), I'd like to ask a question: Do you really want to be associated with such mean spirited greed?
And we're not even talking about choice or marriage equality.