Obama Supports $10 Minimum Wage

Bill widely supported by Democrats heading into 2014 election year

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President Barack Obama supports legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per, a White House official confirmed to TIME.

“The President has long supported raising the minimum wage so hardworking Americans can have a decent wage for a day’s works to support their families and make ends meet, and he supports the Harkin/Miller bill that accomplishes this important goal,” the official said.

The Harkin/Miller bill, officially named the Fair Minimum Wage Act, would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour. First proposed in March by Democrats Tom Harkin in the Senate and George Miller in the House, it would raise the minimum wage 95 cents a year over two years, and would include some tax benefits for small businesses who are traditionally the hardest hit with minimum wage hikes. Small businesses usually oppose raising the minimum wage, but previous wage increases have been matched with tax favors that sweeten the blow.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York told the New York Times that most of the Democratic caucus supports the bill, and that the party is preparing to mobilize behind it.

In his State of the Union address in February, Obama called for the minimum wage to be raised to $9 per hour. “We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages,” Obama said. “But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong.”

The higher target of $10 comes as Democrats look to mobilize supporters and put Republicans on the defensive ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, when the party hopes to recapture the House.

A higher minimum wage would have the greatest impact on workers under 25, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About half of all workers under 25 earn the minimum wage or less. Just three percent of those 25 and older earn that little.

[NYT]

5 comments
BobbyDias
BobbyDias

Why did Obama wait so long? During the last Bush term the House and the Senate passed a bill and Bush signed into law the authorization for whatever president could issue the executive order to raise the minimum wage on new federal contracts. By the way the law only makes the federal government try for the higher minimum wage- the private companies can reject any contract proposal- so Obama's use of the executive order can hurt business and cause more unemployment. What is worse- a little less per hour or no job at all? Besides that- who works for a federal contractor for less than $20+ per hour?

StanleyKerns
StanleyKerns

Now come some words the rich won't like--raising the minimum wage takes money from you and I (no merchant has a printing press to create cash) and gives it to those who--some of them at least--need it.  A high  school kid working after school doesn't need $10 and hour--and forcing that wage on the merchant certainly guarantees that the kid won't get a job--While the rich hate it, taxing them makes more sense--The rich, wanting for nothing, invest--sounds good--but--because the companies they invest in outsource that money, then it leaves our economy and never returns.  Those little old ladies in Thailand buy nothing American.  So, were the rich taxed--say to the extent they were when Eisenhower was President (67%--they lived) and that money used to supplement the income of the working poor (after all 1% of our population have 40% of our wealth--if you go to the upper 10% you will find they control 80% of our wealth) this  money would then be spent in America--would stimulate our economy--and, you know what? the rich would get even richer--a win win deal.  In the days of Morgan and Rockefeller they possessed fabulous fortunes--but when they invested, they invested in America--and our economy boomed--we need to have this happen again.  It isn't that the wealthy are wealthy, it is that they are syphoning way to much capital out of America.  Last though--that money is stimulating third world economies to compete with us for a very finite supply of energy--there simply, absolutely isn't enough energy in the world for the billions and billions of people in the third world to enjoy our lifestyle--but if we don't act to end the exportation of our capital we may soon enjoy theirs.

Stan

BethRyan
BethRyan

It is needed, and it is time. However, it is true what this article sates, SMALL business's are VERY HARD HIT when the wage goes up.  It is THEM, that have the worst of the issues.  They are barely making a living just like their employees.  Most people never realize what a small business owner goes through to have, and to keep a small business going !   A small business owner is THE LAST person paid at the end of the pay cycle. they are THE FIRST to go without ..   I grew up with this fact.  My Dad ran and owned a SMALL business.  I remember many times, employees were paid, and we wet hungry or had beans for dinner..    I remember Christmas's when we had hardly anything.   This was typical, not just every now and then.  The employees came first.  Then the expenses for rent, taxes on payroll, workman's compensation,  social security matching - and supplies.  Without these, there was NO business and the employees would lose their jobs altogether.  So, when I heard people say, "wow - you are rich, your Dad owns a business"  I just shock my head, and said .. you do not know. coz It was impossible to explain.  

RicardoRivera
RicardoRivera

Glad the president is talking about the minimum wage hike. I see this issue reaching the front especially during this years elections and the presidential one in 2016. It's time we stop protecting big business and their profits while we continue to suffer in advancement and opportunity. I always said if you can't afford to improve to lives of your employees than you shouldn't be owning a business! The days of employees making the lives of employers better in every way must end especially when all they do these days is take while whining when we either want more pay or a better work place.

wjsobo1
wjsobo1

  The ignorance of government lawmakers to the profound detrimental impact of paying wages less than the bare necessaries for the tens of millions of working citizens on the economy of the United States may well be the turning point of our countries world dominance. Ten dollars an hour is nothing but a token gesture. It is proof that nobody respects labor. It shows pure arrogance. Arrogance is why terrorists have targeted the United States. Ten dollar minimum wage does not pay for the bare necessaries to live even if a person works 40 hours per week in rural America let alone cities and millions of people are only working part time hours.  Businesses are not making jobs. Lawmakers are not making jobs. And wages are so low nobody can buy anything. In the mean time we are all standing around with our finger in our mouth wondering why the economy is stagnant.


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