EDITOR: Charles Lane's idea of leaving the federal minimum wage unchanged while increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit is bad for California and bad for every other state with a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage ("Two views on raising the minimum wage," Thursday).
The tax credit costs federal dollars. Raising it while keeping the minimum wage down means that the citizens of higher-wage states would be taxed more or incur more federal debt to increase their subsidy of employers in low-wage states by effectively paying part of the salaries of low-wage workers in those states. In other words we in California would be taxed in order to help employers in Alabama keep paying lower wages. This makes no sense.
In a similar vein, Republicans are right that there are makers and takers in our country. California and most Democratic states send more to Washington than they receive in return. Most Republican states take more from Washington than they send. We could easily solve our budget issues by saying no state is entitled to more from Washington than they send to it.
Please urge our senators and representatives to propose such a law. It would be great fun to see Republicans saying they want to reduce our deficit while also saying their states should remain takers.