Why Tip Crediting Should Be Hillary Clinton’s Next Big Issue

Why Tip Crediting Should Be Hillary Clinton’s Next Big Issue

One of the challenges of the presidential campaign trail is knowing which issues and talking points will land with which audiences. During a debate, for example, a viewer can expect to see candidates spar over ideas that are relatively palatable for the masses—think national security and some top-level economic policy ideas. During rallies with supports, local stump speeches, and private fundraisers, though, a candidate may try  a slightly different approach  that’s more tailored to the room. But sometimes, those ideas and policies that candidates research for small, targeted functions could actually have huge momentum on the national stage. Such is the case, I think, with tip-crediting which, this week, Hillary Clinton came out against—again. In front of a crowd made up largely of union members  at the Javits Convention Center in New York City yesterday, Clinton praised Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for a statewide $15 minimum wage. Then, she went a step further, decrying the practice of tip-crediting. “It is time we end the so-called tipped minimum wage…We are the only industrialized country in the world that requires tipped workers to take their income in tips instead of wages.” She called the practice—which is the law of the land in 43 states—”shameful.” Which, to be fair, it is. INFOGRAPHIC: Who are Tipped Workers? Tip crediting, also called the “sub-minimum wage,” assumes that a worker’s tips, combined with extremely low wages, will bring their hourly pay to a level that is commensurate with the federal minimum wage. Put another way, it directly puts customers on the hook for ensuring that a worker makes an amount of money that can even be passably considered to be appropriate for a day’s work in the year of our lord 2016. If a worker is unlucky enough to pull down less than $7.25 per hour in tips, then and only then is their employer required to float them the extra cash through
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Can Someone Finally Ask These Questions at the Republican Debate Tonight?

Can Someone Finally Ask These Questions at the Republican Debate Tonight?

The remaining Republican presidential candidates—that’s Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich, if you weren’t keeping track—will appear on Fox News for a debate tonight at 6 pm . I’ll be live-tweeting the debate from the @civicskunkworks handle ; I hope you’ll join me then. So what should you expect? Well, surely Mitt Romney’s weird speech about Donald Trump from this morning will be a big topic of discussion/angle of attack. (Note to Mitt Romney: you are the single worst person in the world to hit Trump on tax returns.) The other candidates will simultaneously attempt to attack Trump and frame themselves as the lone adult onstage. They’ll talk about hating immigrants, and bombing other countries, and cutting taxes and regulations. There will be a lot of screaming. But after months of an overstuffed field, the Republican field has finally been winnowed down to a manageable number. Between four candidates, they will undoubtedly be able to share a significant amount of speaking time, and in theory they will be able to field a broader array of questions. Here’s what I wish they would talk about: The minimum wage. Every candidate left in the race has opposed raising the minimum wage, though Trump has since suggested that “ wages in our country are too low .” So I’d propose a two-part question: Are wages in America too low? And if so, what do you want to do about it? The middle class. Of the four remaining candidates, Trump speaks with the most passion about America’s shrinking middle class. That’s a problem. I would love to see these guys get into a fight about who cares more for the middle class. (And I’d be curious to see how they justify opposing a hike in the minimum wage immediately after they give lip service to the middle class, too.) Infrastructure. Yet again, Trump is the only one of these four candidates who talks longingly of China’s
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Daily Clips: March 3rd, 2016

Daily Clips: March 3rd, 2016

Koch brothers will not use funds to try to block Trump nomination:   The Koch brothers, the most powerful conservative mega donors in the United States, will not use their $400 million political arsenal to try to block Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s path to the presidential nomination, a spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday. The decision by the billionaire industrialists is another setback to Republican establishment efforts to derail the New York real estate mogul’s bid for the White House, and follows speculation the Kochs would soon launch a “Trump Intervention.” Video of the day:  Bruce Bartlett, who served under the first Bush, explains to Lawrence O’Donnell why he voted for Donald Trump: “My goal is to try to destroy the Republican Party, frankly.” That takes a lot of political and moral courage for him to say and frankly, it’s refreshing to hear. David Brooks, Michael Gerson, Rich Lowry, and all those other “intellectual” conservatives should take note. Kate Brown signs minimum wage bill for $14.75 in Portland:  Way to go Oregon! The bill gives Oregon the highest statewide minimum wage rates in the nation, to $14.75 inside Portland’s urban growth boundary, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022. President Barack Obama lauded Brown, saying in a statement: “I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for taking action to raise their state’s minimum wage…Congress needs to keep up with the rest of the country. They need to act, and finally give America a raise. And until they do, I’ll continue to encourage states, cities, counties and companies to act on their own to support hardworking families.”

Daily Clips: March 2nd, 2016

Daily Clips: March 2nd, 2016

On CNN, a Trump supporter said that Democrats were “dividing the country” by calling out racism: Something tells me that sort of messaging won’t work in the general election for Trumpers. Jeffrey Lord (the Trump dude) said the KKK was a “leftist” organization and the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party. Yes, really. Thomas Friedman on the state of American politics: The G.O.P. fell into the grip of a coalition of far-right media and money people who have created a closed loop of incentives for bad behavior and never getting to hybrid: Deny climate change. Spurn immigration reform. Shut down the Congress. Block Obamacare (even though it was based on an idea first implemented by a Republican governor). Do so, and you get rewarded by Fox TV and the G.O.P. cash machine. Stray from those principles, and you get purged. That purging eventually produced a collection of G.O.P. presidential candidates who, when they gathered on stage for their first debate, resembled nothing more than the “Star Wars” bar scene at the Mos Eisley Cantina on the remote planet of Tatooine — that assortment of alien species, each more bizarre than the last, from a “galaxy far, far away.” Video of the day: Trump Your Enthusiasm pic.twitter.com/cPeweKwgVD — Seinfeld Current Day (@Seinfeld2000) March 2, 2016

Marco Rubio Embraced His Inner Trump. Here’s What He Should’ve Done Instead.

Marco Rubio Embraced His Inner Trump. Here’s What He Should’ve Done Instead.

This is how low Marco Rubio has descended: he’s attacking Donald Trump with a collection of second-rate Trumpisms right before Super Tuesday: This is, of course, the exactly wrong move for Rubio; you can’t beat Trump at his own game. A significant portion of the Republican primary vote has been swept up in Trump’s anti-establishment zeal, and Rubio has no hope of gaining those votes. What he should be doing is trying to win the Republicans who would never vote for Donald Trump. There are plenty of them out there, and Rubio’s insult-comic schtick is scaring them all away. Actually, the truth is that Rubio has been scaring those anti-Trump voters away since the very beginning of his presidential campaign. As we’ve been telling you since last year , Rubio’s policies are just as terrible and unrealistic as Trump’s. So what should Rubio have done if he wanted to be his party’s nominee? What would a sensible Republican presidential candidate look like? I’m glad you asked. • Quit with the exclusionary talk. Stop talking about getting rid of gay marriage. Stop making immigrants out to be the great Satan. Stop punishing women for being women. Quit making all your foreign policy about Christians versus everyone else. Every time you exclude a group from your platform, you’re pushing voters away. Why any presidential candidate would tell voters not to vote for them is a mystery to me, but that’s been Rubio’s plan from the very beginning. • Get over this tired “government-is-the-enemy” routine. Look, we know that Republicans are for limited government, but this is getting ridiculous. Rubio, a sitting Senator running for president, wants us to believe that he thinks government can solve absolutely no problems except those involving the military? It just seems a little disingenuous, doesn’t it? So why not accept the fact that government
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Daily Clips: March 1st, 2016

Daily Clips: March 1st, 2016

US February auto sales jump: After a record 2015, the US auto industry has not slowed down at all. Ford’s car sales jumped 19 percent, Fiat Chrysler’s sales rose 12 percent, and Nissan’s sales rose 10.5 percent. According to Reuters, the auto industry is cyclical and so “most analysts expect sales to eventually hit a plateau, then taper off.” Yet the auto industry has been “on a roll since the 2008-2009 recession.” And if these latest numbers are any indication, the good times have not stopped rolling. Clarence Thomas breaks his silence…to defend abusers’ rights to guns:  You can’t make this stuff up. He’s making Scalia proud. Tweet of the day:  I'm a lifelong Republican but Trump surge proves that every bad thing Democrats have ever said about GOP is basically true. #NeverTrump — Max Boot (@MaxBoot) February 29, 2016 That tweet leads me to this incredible quote from Bret Stephens at The Wall Street Journal who is “grappling with the implications of Donald Trump’s rise for the conservative movement. As Stephens notes : Liberals may have been fond of claiming that Republicans were all closet bigots and that tax cuts were a form of racial prejudice, but the accusation rang hollow because the evidence for it was so tendentious. Not anymore. The candidacy of Donald Trump is the open sewer of American conservatism. This mindset explains why intellectual conservatives like David Brooks are “ wandering around dazed, openly questioning everything they ever knew ” about their party and its principles.

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