Imagine, if you can, that you are a fast-food worker catching sight of Ohio Sen. Rob. Portman heading to an upscale restaurant down the street.
“Senator,” you call out. “I need to talk to you.”
Portman, always looking divinely benign, stops for a moment while you catch up.
“Senator,” you say in an out-of-breath sort of way,”I really need your help. I have to hold three jobs on my minimum wage and I have a wife and two small children. Can I count on you to support an increase in the minimum?”
Looking divinely benign, the senator smiles, taps you on the shoulder and begins to explain his reason for opposing an increase.
“My friend,” he says knowingly in a trickle-down tone, which is how they like to open conversations with potential voters, “I can only tell you that I’m working to do what’s best for you and our nation in the long term.”
He then draws a cue sheet from his pocket, freshly prepared by the Club for Growth, and reads:
“The minimum wage mostly relates to young people. The best way to get the economy going again is by reforming our complex, outdated tax code, making the tough choices needed to prevent the record federal debt from smothering our eonomic growth and job creation and lifting the regulatory burdens that small businesses say are the single greatest threat from Washington today.”
By now your eyes have glazed over as you try to decode the scholarly words of George W. Bush’s former budget director. Bush, who left his successor with no budgetary drive-by.
You turn away in a daze. You hear the senator call to you:
“Hope that helps you connect the dots. And I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas.”
The senator, no longer divinely benign, is last seen rushing into the restaurant in hopes that his reservations were not cancelled by the delay from your ignorance of economic verities.
Update: Being a VIP, he got a nice table anyway and ate well. Not a tough choice for the maitre d’…