Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, are levying a cheap pathological appeal with unmatched tone-deafness.
The pair accepted a challenge to legislators from the liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change -- they're promised to commit themselves to a $77 budget for one week, and urge their House colleagues to join them in the endeavor. The organization says the average minimum wage worker has $77 in disposable income each week after taxes and housing expenses are paid for.
“My husband and I are taking the Living the Wage Challenge this week in solidarity with hard-working families who are trying to make ends meet,” Schakowsky said in a statement.
It's doubtless that countless Americans struggle to bear the heavy burdens of rising health care and college education costs, as well as chronic long-term unemployment. Nonetheless, to suggest that a statistically significant portion of the American population is hamstrung by a draconian minimum wage is not borne out by data.
As the Examiner's own Philip Klein notes, those earning at or below the minimum wage represent less than three percent of working Americans. What's more, Rea Hederman of the free-market Buckeye Institute told Watchdog.org that the average income of a household with a minimum wage earner is nearly $66,000 -- that is, they're not the primary breadwinners in their household.
Independent of their grossly argumentum ad passiones stunt, have a look at Rep. Schakowsky’s menu for the next week:
My #LiveTheWage menu for the week. pic.twitter.com/fi2BbY4ooE— Jan Schakowsky (@janschakowsky) July 24, 2014
As a humble* undergraduate, pasta, hot dogs, tuna salad and English muffins seem rather a sumptuous repast.
*poor and drunk