Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Thursday, September 11, 2003
 
George Bush has threatened to veto the appropriations bill if the final bill contains language overruling his elimination of overtime pay for millions of workers. There seem to be enough votes to keep the provision, although not nearly enough to override a veto.

This is yet another example of an obsession with being pro-business that for Bush goes beyond a political stance towards an Ahabian obsession. The provision is clearly popular - three of the six Republicans who support it are facing close re-election campaigns next year. (Of the other three, Snowe and Chafee are traditional renegades. Why Stevens backs it is a bit of a mystery.)

Taking away overtime is a more direct assault on workers than Bush usually goes for. Since we know that Republicans do get substantial support from blue collar workers, it could cost millions of votes. Even more striking, the bill is a direct attack on job creation. The ability to require overtime at regular pay is a direct disincentive for those companies that have labor shortages to hire new people. You would really think that with an election coming up, the President with the worst jobs record since Hoover would be looking for ways to encourage businesses to hire. But you would be wrong.



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