Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Weirdest argument ever
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Weirdest argument ever

Friday, Feb 8, 2019

* He was using this as an argument against raising the minimum wage. I kid you not

Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, said the bigger paychecks earned by minimum wage employees will make them ineligible for certain benefit programs.

I like Righter. I’ve often attended Senate Executive Committee hearings just to watch him spar with former Chairman Don Harmon. I didn’t care what the bills were, I wanted to see the show.

But that floor speech was weird, man. And I agree with Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s response, which was basically I’ve never heard a Republican argue for keeping people on public assistance programs like TANF and foodstamps.

*** UPDATE *** Sen. Lightford’s response


Lightford gives closing speech on minimum wage vote

My legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 in Illinois was approved by the Senate on Thursday. I'm thrilled to deliver this win for working families and look forward to the next step. #FightFor15 #FightForFamilies

Posted by State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford on Friday, February 8, 2019

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    Steve Reick made the same argument in the House committee on Wednesday.

    Its asinine to hear conservative Republicans - who have tried for years to kick as many people as possible off of pubic benefits - say we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage because we want to make sure people still say on public benefits.


  2. - Stones - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    Sounds like a case of arguing just for the sake of arguing.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    If you’re arguing to keep people on things like food stamps, you are 100% doing it wrong.

    Yikes, as a Republican, you want to endure people continue to get some sort of government aid?

    Not a great moment.

    Oh, and I’m a fan of Sen. Righter, one of the GOP Members saving Illinois from Rauner. Make no mistake where I stand… but … this… ugh.


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:41 am:

    There’s a lot of emotion involved in the resistance to this. I’d like to see some numbers.

    What will be the savings to social programs by those minimum wage workers no longer needing benefits?

    More importantly, why are those details never included in any of the ‘news’ stories being pushed out in state newspapers? News stories are always about what the cost will be to the state, and never the benefits.


  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:41 am:

    Righter’s a bright guy but also a loyal soldier, and if the party needed him to speak against, he did his best. He was due for a misfire.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    The narrative now is, Republicans want to keep poor people on public aid and not help them earn more money to get off of assistance. They’re giving away free stuff, as right wingers like to say. Thanks.


  7. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    === I’ve never heard a Republican argue for … ===

    That’s been happening all too often in today’s GOP. It’s a sad phenomenon.

    Paying folks enough to get off benefits is a good thing. Getting them healthcare benefits is another good thing.


  8. - Henry Francis - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    Can it get more clear that certain members of the GOP aren’t working for tax payers or workers. They are working for businesses.


  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:51 am:

    –Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, said the bigger paychecks earned by minimum wage employees will make them ineligible for certain benefit programs.–

    Well you know Downstate Republicans — always buying votes with free stuff, maintaining that culture of dependency.

    Talk about running out of nonsense to say.

    Five years ago, McDonald’s got stung when its human resources department was found to be encouraging its full-time employees to apply for food stamps and other government assistance.

    The practice was exposed by a ten-year Chicago McDonald’s worker making the minimum wage of….. $8.25 an hour. Five years ago.

    https://money.cnn.com/2013/10/23/news/companies/mcdonalds-help-line-workers/


  10. - Montrose - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    I look forward to Senator Righter introducing a slew of bills that raise the income eligibility guidelines for public benefits.


  11. - Brendan - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    These ridiculous debate points need to just be ignored at this point.


  12. - Honeybear - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    So the impact will be profound.
    In my day to day
    “Determining and maintaining eligibility”
    I hardly ever see a person making over 11bucks an hour.
    It will reduce benefits drastically.
    Period.
    Food stamps are 100% federally paid.
    But Medicaid
    That’s where we’ll feel savings.
    Look, I’m a Human Services Caseworker
    I want people off of the benefits I
    determine and maintain
    That’s the goal
    To be a safety net
    not feather bed.
    I keep benefits out of the hands of those
    not eligible
    I want the members of my community
    to be self sufficient.

    Republicans are just simply
    protecting the moneyed
    The privileged

    They have no concern
    whatsoever
    about the majority of Illinoisans
    only the moneyed
    Only the privileged


  13. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    If things go as planned on a graduated income tax proposal, Republicans will oppose tax cuts for the vast majority of Illinoisans?


  14. - regnaD kciN - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    “Talk about running out of nonsense to say.”

    I believe the term grasping at straws would cover this.


  15. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    ==What will be the savings to social programs by those minimum wage workers no longer needing benefits?==

    That’s a good question, but one I’m too lazy to find the answer to. Qualification for social programs generally rest on income levels. Basic math = 40 hrs per week at $8.25 is a bit under $16K per year (pre-tax); 40 hrs per week at $15 is a bit under $29K (pre-tax). What is the cutoff to qualify for TANF and other programs? I assume it’s lower than $29K per year. How many minimum wage employees apply for these programs (and are not teenagers living at home that wouldn’t qualify)? I know places like McD’s and Walmart actively encourage their low-wage employees to apply for these programs, but you’ve got to assume this group also includes lots and lots of others from across the different sectors.

    Also, does anyone know how this bill affects food service workers that earn money from tips? Wait staff at restaurants generally get exempted from minimum wage rules, iirc. But it’s not unlikely that a lot of food service workers take part in these programs as well (cooks, busboys, etc)


  16. - dbk - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    I caught that yesterday and thought, “hmm.”

    Conservatives are caught between a rock and a hard place here: on the one hand, they oppose an increase in the minimum wage (or, heaven forbid, a living wage) because the cost has to be borne by business owners. On the other hand, they’re opposed to receipt of public benefits by all those who earn less than minimum wage (and many who earn more, but who are employed only sporadically).

    When it comes down to it, though, they prefer that workers remain on public support (SNAP, section 8, Medicaid) because this spreads out the real cost of underpayment to everyone, rather than concentrating it within the employer class.


  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    I don’t generally struggle with math but 40 hours times $15 for 52 weeks is $31,200 and 40 hours times $8.25 is $17,160


  18. - Annonin' - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    Clearly Righter was arguing the bosses wanted to see the federal welfare subsidize their operations. Under SB1 there will be a transfer from federal/state tax payers to the biz bosses and the Senator was bemoaning the shift.
    Kim laughed in his face.


  19. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    === why are those details never included in any of the ‘news’ stories===

    Subscribe.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    ===I don’t generally struggle with math…===

    “I only struggle coming up with a name for my comment…”

    lol


  21. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Continuing, another thing that should be taken into account is that not all minimum wage employees work 40 hrs per week. Many employers refuse to offer more than 30 hours to most workers so that they can get out of providing benefits. The folks that I know that earn minimum wage work 2 or 3 jobs and work 40 or 50 hours total across their different jobs, but there are probably many that will continue to work fewer hours and still qualify for public benefit programs.

    It might be hard to pin down a good estimate, but I think in the long run we’ll still see a drop-off in total enrollment for these programs.


  22. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:15 am:

    ==40 hours times $8.25 is $17,160==

    Maybe I’m doing the math wrong? (Note - I am not very smart).

    But 8.25*40 hours=330 per week; 330*4 weeks per month= 1320 per month; 1320*12 months = 15,840 per year


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    ===4 weeks per month= 1320 per month; 1320*12 months===

    12×4=48

    There are 52 weeks.


  24. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    –These ridiculous debate points need to just be ignored at this point.–

    Not this one. It takes off the mask, revealing truth.


  25. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    ==-Subscribe==

    Thanks Rich. I may do just that. My statement was directed as general newspapers across the state, not this site specifically. I’ve found most newspapers in the state are just doing ‘man-in-the-street’ interviews in this subject.

    Which frankly isn’t very useful.


  26. - wondering - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    I guess he is advocating for indirect business subsidies. After all, holding down the minimum wage is exactly that. At least he isn’t arguing the dubious proposition that a hike cuts employment as if he and his could really care. Googling that is maddening….suffice it to say no consensus from the studies. Certainly nothing to support the standard Republican boilerplate on the issue.


  27. - Past the Rule of 85 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    It’s sad how often I’m reminded of a quote from a St. Louis Alderman who asked “How can the rich get what they deserve when the poor have so little to give?”


  28. - JB13 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    “The employer class.” You mean, the people who pay most people’s wages and salaries? Why should we care about them?


  29. - 61822 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    There is a grain of a serious economic issue here. If minimum wage increases result in reductions of benefits like SNAP, they might not have as large an impact on the income of low-wage workers than a naive analysis would suggest. And, SNAP benefits are paid for by general tax revenue, which come mostly from high income people, while minimum wage increases get paid for by the customers of the companies where the low-wage people work. These are often fast food and other businesses that cater to low-wage workers. So, minimum wage increases could theoretically be shifting the burden of helping low-wage workers from wealthier households through the tax system to poorer households through raising food prices.

    Ultimately this is an empirical question about which effects are larger, but possible offsets to government benefit programs should be taken into account in the cost/benefit analysis.


  30. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    Dale Righter, bravely making the case for Medicare for All and Universal Basic Income. Keep up the the good work, Dale.


  31. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    Let’s see if I can follow his convoluted logic:

    If businesses (Republican donors) have to pay a $15 minimum wage, that’s bad. If taxpayers have to pay for government benefit programs, that’s good.

    Donors = good.
    Taxpayers = chumps.


  32. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    ===It takes off the mask, revealing truth.===

    Yep. And the sad truth is that Illinois Republicans are so ideologically bankrupt that Righter could say this publicly with no sense of irony or shame.

    And that, my GOP friends, is what happens when you sell your political party to a wealthy egomaniac with zero experience in government and politics.


  33. - Bigtwich - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    There were 29,793 TANF cases (79,340 persons) in January 2017.

    An assistance unit’s countable, net income must be below certain established limits that are adjusted for the number of persons in the AU. A family must meet the financial criteria to receive TANF. For example, a family of three (mother and two children) must have a gross income below $784 a month and countable assets of less than $1,000.


  34. - Techie - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:52 am:

    @61822

    I get what you’re saying here, but what’s really the alternative? When you boil things down, the biggest problem in society that drives so many other problems is income and wealth inequality. Raising the minimum wage, although it will make some people ineligible for benefits they currently receive, will overall improve their lives.

    To me $15 is just a starting point - we should aim higher, and aim to implement it faster.

    Or we could stop working with fixed numbers and instead work with ratios. We could pass legislation in Illinois which says something like, “Any employer with at least 50 employees cannot provide annual compensation to any employee in excess of 10 times that of its least-compensated employee.” In other words, if the CEO wants to earn $500,000 a year, that’s fine, but that means the janitor has to earn $50,000 a year.

    This kind of law wouldn’t need regular updates, because it’s dealing with ratios and not absolute numbers. And it would ensure some reasonable level of equality.


  35. - Huh? - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    Use 2088 work hours per year to calculate the annual income.
    2088 x 8.25 = $17,226
    2088 x 15 = $31,320

    Using 40 hours per week times 52 weeks misses a day or 2 of work.


  36. - An American - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    The argument is simultaneously workers will get fired or their hours will get cut AND they will make much more money via the minimum wage hike. Which is it? Maybe if Republicans had some kind of consistency instead of just coming across as contrarians with no serious alternative plans they would be doing better.


  37. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    ==Use 2088 work hours per year to calculate the annual income.
    2088 x 8.25 = $17,226
    2088 x 15 = $31,320

    Using 40 hours per week times 52 weeks misses a day or 2 of work.==

    Well to be fair, I did note that I’m not very smart \_(“/)_/

    I would guess that $31K is well above the cut-off for qualification for most programs and should result in no small amount of savings


  38. - JS Mill - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    =I would guess that $31K is well above the cut-off for qualification for most programs and should result in no small amount of savings=

    Nope. Depends on the number of household members and household income.


  39. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    Yes. The hypocrisy of some GOP.


  40. - 61822 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    @Techie - policies like EITC that subsidize wages and employment are generally believed by economists to be a more effective way of increasing earnings for low-income people than increasing the minimum wage. But, EITC is financed by taxes, whereas the funding source for minimum wage increases is hidden. Supporters like to think that the money is coming out of billionaire CEOs’ pockets, but more likely it is coming out of small-stakes stockholders and customers.

    Minimum wage is a politically easier policy, but it is not a great way to get additional assistance to people who need it. Given political realities, it may be the best we can do. But, we should head into it with a full understanding of the cost, benefits, and unintended consequences.


  41. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:24 am:

    Milton Friedman wanted a universal basic income but no minimum wage.
    So ok, if Dale Righter thinks minimum wage is bad where is his universal basic income proposal?


  42. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    –@Techie - policies like EITC that subsidize wages and employment are generally believed by economists to be a more effective way of increasing earnings for low-income people than increasing the minimum wage.–

    Both Friedman and Hayek presumed a government-provided guaranteed universal basic income before allowing a laissez-faire market to work its magic on wages.

    Some way, some how, the troncs missed that crucial bit when invoking Friedman in their opposition to the minimum wage bump.

    But then, their understanding of Friedman is based on cherry-picking random quotes from Bartlett’s, not actually doing the reading.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/why-arent-reformicons-pushing-a-guaranteed-basic-income/375600/


  43. - James Knell - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Any rhetorical port in a storm, I guess. “The chair recognizes the senator from Walmart.”


  44. - Responsa - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    ==The argument is simultaneously workers will get fired or their hours will get cut AND they will make much more money via the minimum wage hike. Which is it? Maybe if Republicans had some kind of consistency instead of just coming across as contrarians …..==

    Do not overlook that there are also many Democrats and Democratic donors who are business owners who will also be paying the new minimum wage (however it ultimately shakes out) who also are concerned about the possible economic impacts to their small businesses and their communities– not all of which will be positive impacts. It’s some of these owners along with some R business owners primarily mid state and downstate who will be making legislators of both parties’ lives interesting until this gets resolved.


  45. - efudd - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    Listen to today’s GOP long enough, you’ll be mowing the yard in January.
    Hunter S. was right. They have finally managed to make Nixon look like a liberal.


  46. - 61822 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    Universal basic income (or a robust system of benefits like TANF, EITC, SNAP for the poor) plus market-determined wages is a better approach. But, it would be much harder to implement politically. Minimum wage may be the best, implementable policy. But, the point that reductions in government programs may offset some of the benefit of the hourly wage increase is a valid one. The extent to which this is true, and the extent to which Righter was making this point, are unclear.


  47. - The Way I See It - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    Taking the next step,people making the new minimum wage have money to spend which stimulates buying, resulting in sales tax revenue.


  48. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    ==Nope==

    From Bigtwich:

    There were 29,793 TANF cases (79,340 persons) in January 2017.

    An assistance unit’s countable, net income must be below certain established limits that are adjusted for the number of persons in the AU. A family must meet the financial criteria to receive TANF. For example, a family of three (mother and two children) must have a gross income below $784 a month and countable assets of less than $1,000.

    So….yup?


  49. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    == Ultimately this is an empirical question about which effects are larger, but possible offsets to government benefit programs should be taken into account in the cost/benefit analysis. ==

    Part of the problem is the all of nothing approach of some of the government benefits. Tends to disincentive people from getting better jobs. Needs to be a ramped phase-out of government benefits so net family economic benefit at least stays flat or improves.

    Otherwise you get the why work / earn more than the threshold if you end up a net loser? I used to hear this all the time from one set of relatives whenever I suggested they apply to this or that better job.


  50. - Bobio - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    It’s not a weird argument if you lived it. For example, a friend of mine was out of work so she qualified for state subsidized health insurance. She got a job as a waitress and her employer reported her making about 17k a year, so the state wanted to charge over $400 per month for the same health coverage. She quit her job to get back on the dole and now works for cash. So I can see his point, somewhat.


  51. - 47th Ward - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===She quit her job to get back on the dole and now works for cash.===

    So what did the state say when you reported that your friend was engaged in fraud?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Question of the day
* Learn something new every day
* Ives could kick off congressional bid soon as Sanguinetti announces lots of establishment endorsements
* Pick a lane
* Elections have consequences
* Still waiting on the fact check
* City hires Florida man to trap Chance the Snapper
* The return of the circular firing squad
* Zalewski raid/ComEd probe roundup
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller