No One Can Be This Obtuse
My Congressman, Bill Sali, has an opinion piece in today's Idaho Statesman that explains why he's so opposed to Congress raising the minimum wage. His reason? It's unconstitutional. (No, I'm serious.) An excerpt:
Equally bad, the bill prescribes an action that simply can't be justified under the U.S. Constitution.As I read this, Rep. Sali seems to be implying that any action by Congress not specifically mentioned in the Constitution is, by definition, unconstitutional. I don't want to accuse Congressman Sali of being hypocritical, but I'm wondering where in the Constitution it says that Congress has the power to congratulate football teams, as it did via a resolution that he co-sponsored. Now, I'm not a lawyer like Mr. Sali is, but it seems to me that the part of the Constitution that says that Congress has the power to regulate commerce would seem to cover setting a uniform minimum wage among the several states. Legal precedent would seem to agree.
We all want our fellow Americans to live free and experience the American dream. Why wouldn't we want to see the lowest wage earners in society earn more? I do. You do. But I don't have the power to raise wages, because Congress doesn't have that power. It's not in the U.S. Constitution...
...That was the crux of my Jan. 10 debate on the floor of the House of Representatives. If we believe Congress has the power to determine wages, where do we go next? Why isn't Congress using its authority to bestow more goodness upon the American people? Because it would be unconstitutional.
No wonder he didn't say anything of substance during the last few weeks of the campaign -- whenever he opens his mouth, he just seems to make himself appear even less qualified to be an effective representative in Congress than he already is. (Highlighting this was the fact that his side lost the vote on the bill to raise the minimum wage 360-45. Apparently, only about 10% of the House shares his views on this matter.)