This week a waitress from Raleigh, NC named Fawn Townsend delivered the Democratic radio response to President Bush’s weekly address. Her topic was the minimum wage increase. “I am a waitress working the night shift at a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina and- like millions of other Americans- I have tried to make ends meet on the minimum wage. And as anyone in my position knows, that is a very tough job. You can’t pay all your bills. You struggle every day, but still find yourself falling behind. Despite the fact that more Americans are working harder while earning less, it took ten years for our representatives in Washington to raise the minimum wage, with Republicans in Congress blocking it along the way,” Townsend said.

“But during the last election, the people spoke out loud and clear. We elected Democrats across the country who took the lead in passing several minimum wage increases at the state level and improving the lives of America’s working families. Because the new Democratic Congress kept their word and increased the federal minimum wage last month, many more of us today have a better shot at achieving the American Dream. Millions of Americans now have a little more in their paychecks to help pay for basic necessities like food and clothing. And now more Americans can save to build a better future for themselves and their families,” she said.

She talked about how the increase is going to help the millions of U.S. workers who earn minimum wage. “While the pay increase may not seem like much, it will create ripples in the lives of so many people. More than six million children whose parents earn the minimum wage will benefit with the earnings increase. When you add it all up, the resulting pay raise of $4,400 per year will help families pay for child care, housing and food. In recognition of their brave service to our country, Democrats in Congress passed a pay raise for our brave men and women in the military, helping them and their families make ends meet.”

Townsend also spoke about how the increase will impact her life. “With the money I earn, I hope to buy a used car. With a car, I might then be able to pick up more work so I have enough income to live independently- and no longer rely on my good friends who I live with now. And that is only the beginning. In order to truly get ahead and reach my life-long goal of becoming a nurse, I hope to attend college in the next couple of years. And thankfully, Democrats have made education a top priority and passed legislation that makes higher education more affordable, which helps make my goal no longer insurmountable.”

She then lapsed into the usual laundry list of everything the Democratic controlled Congress has accomplished, increasing the minimum wage, improving the student loan system, and expanding the SCHIP program. I am getting more than a little tired of this Democratic propaganda every week.

It is as if the Democrats are now trying to turn their party members’ attention away from the issue of Iraq. It seems like they are saying, “Yes we gave into President Bush on FISA and Iraq, but we got a minimum wage increase.” The main issue that Democratic voters care about is Iraq. All this other stuff is nice, but this Congress will be considered a failure by many Democrats until they do something about the war.

Full text of the Democratic radio address

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at

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