AOC's Dreams Are Crushed, and the Ritual Gnashing of Teeth Ensues

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Yesterday, news broke that the Senate parliamentarian ruled that a minimum wage increase could not be passed via reconciliation (a process that only requires a simple majority). That was, of course, the proper decision, as there’s absolutely no justification to include a hike under the limited scope of reconciliation, which only allows changes to tax laws and some spending.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was not pleased.

Per the CBO, that “transformation” would include putting 1.3 million people completely out of work. How do you think they’d enjoy the new minimum wage? AOC ignores that aspect of this, though, pretending that a McDonald’s in Abilene is going to not automate further if forced to pay 17-year-olds $15 an hour to start.

Besides, in reference to Joe Manchin, he represents a vote in the Senate. The Democrats simply don’t have the votes. That’s not Manchin’s doing alone. It’s the doing of 51 senators. Those with totalitarian instincts, which AOC has in spades, don’t care about that, though. They are deluded into thinking every single American supports their cause.

Actually, that’s exactly what AOC will have to tell them. She doesn’t have a choice, and to the extent that this is a debatable matter, it’s clearly only in the theoretical sense. The rules of reconciliation are not really ambiguous. There is zero justification to allow a minimum wage increase under the process.

If AOC thinks she can get rid of the filibuster, she’s dreaming. If Manchin won’t allow the destruction of the reconciliation process, he’s certainly not going to blow up one of the basic elements of the Senate to please voters in the Bronx. Further, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has also said she won’t touch the filibuster. Democrats aren’t close to having the votes necessary.

Increasing the minimum wage at the national level is idiocy. To the extent that any minimum wage should exist, it should exist at the state level. Cost of living varies greatly from state to state. You can’t federally mandate a $15 an hour wage in New York and not destroy countless small businesses in Alabama. This is grade-school-level economics, and it’s always a bit grating that we even have to have this discussion.

As has been said many times, the real minimum wage is zero. There’s a reason Amazon and other mega-corporations support raising it to $15 an hour. They know they can afford it while it’ll put what’s left of the mom and pop industries out of business. It’s crony capitalism at its worst, and AOC is on their side, even though she’d never admit that to her followers.