Washington State Democrat Party appears to have particular difficulty with mounting any type of legitimate, thoughtful criticism of policies with which they do not agree. Whether it’s accepting funds from a known racist and bigot or using highly deceptive campaign schemes, sincerity and truth are two virtues that are entirely lost on them.
That’s why the latest case of Democrat deception is not all that surprising. On Monday, the state Democrat party sent an email to supporters accusing Republicans of attempting to lower the minimum wage. The email asserts that Republicans in the state Senate want to “chip away at Washington’s minimum wage laws.” Particularly, the truth-challenged Democrats point to a Republican bill that seeks to permit companies to pay less than minimum wage to a “segment of workers.”
The bill referred to is Senate Bill 5422 and the “segment of workers” it would impact are teenagers who need jobs but cannot find employment. SB 5422 would allow businesses to pay anyone under the age of 20 the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25, as opposed to the minimum wage in Washington State of $9.47.
GOP Sen. Michael Baumgartner, who is sponsoring the bill, says the “training wage” opens opportunities for teenagers seeking entry-level jobs and work experience. As the minimum wage has increased, so has unemployment rate among teenagers (currently at 30%). Business owners are choosing to hire more experienced workers. Baumgartner’s bill seeks to level the playing field.
Anthony Anton, President and CEO of the Washington Restaurant Association, has declared his support for the bill. He points out that in 2000, “17% of restaurant jobs were filled by teens.” Today, that percentage has dwindled to 7%.
“These are skills carried onto sales, onto management. They are lifetime skills,” Anton said. “We really want to get back to offering their kids their first job.”
Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of the state Democrats’ false attack is that, very recently, Democrat lawmakers actually agreed with the policy approach. In fact, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray favored attaching a “training wage” to the $15 minimum wage ordinance. He cited the same policy objective—though, nonsensically, he was also raising the minimum wage to an absurd level—for implementing the training wage.
The email’s attack is both hypocritical and deceptive—two characteristics we’ve come to expect from the Washington State Democrats.