Obama Minimum Wage
Carolyn Kaster/APPresident Obama speaks about his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., earlier this month.
By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON -- For the fifth Saturday this year, the White House used the president's weekly address to exhort Republicans to support an increase in the minimum wage, a key part of President Barack Obama's voter-friendly economic agenda aimed at keeping Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate.

Obama has been pushing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, up from the current level of $7.25, a move that would lift wages for almost 28 million people and is supported by more than 70 percent of Americans.

"While not all of us always see eye-to-eye politically, one thing we overwhelmingly agree on is that nobody who works full-time should ever have to live in poverty," Obama said in his address, which airs on radio stations and is posted online.

The measure is unlikely to pass Congress. Republicans argue it would kill jobs, pointing to a non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimate that it would cost about 500,000 people their jobs even as it lifted 900,000 people out of poverty.

Senate Democrats are expected to bring the measure up for a vote next week to try to rally support among voters and get them excited ahead of November midterm elections.

Republicans are expected to keep their majority in the House of Representatives after the election, and also could take control of the Senate if they pick up six seats.

That would make it hard for Obama to achieve his goals in his final two years in office. So he has pushed Democrats to work hard to get out the vote, and has talked up populist economic measures.

Raising the minimum wage has been Obama's most frequent theme in the Saturday addresses this year. He spoke about it on Feb. 15 and 22, and on March 8. On March 29, Vice President Joe Biden stood in for Obama for the address, and also used the time to talk about raising the minimum wage.

Obama has also spoken about the issue around the country, buying sweaters at a Gap (GPS) store to draw attention to the company's plan to raise the minimum wage for its workers and praising governors in states such as Connecticut who have passed their own minimum wage raises.

In this week's address, Obama described a New York City restaurant owner who was inspired to raise wages for her employees by the end of the year to at least $10 an hour.

He also panned Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, for signing a law stopping cities in the state from setting their own minimum wages.

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King Obama speaks again. This guy is great on daytime talk shows but is the worst president we have ever had. What a worthless bum

April 26 2014 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Minimum wage advocates are a part of the ideologically committed and economically challenged that IS the DNC electorate.

April 26 2014 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In a comprehensive, 182-page summary of the research on this subject from the last two decades, economists David Neumark (UC-Irvine) and William Wascher (Federal Reserve Board) determined that 85 percent of the best research points to a loss of jobs following a minimum wage increase.

April 26 2014 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Will employers go out of business if they have to pay a higher minimum wage?******* That's never been the issue.

April 26 2014 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's see . . .President Clinton left the White house with a $2 Billion budget surplus.********* There was never any surplus

April 26 2014 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Will employers go out of business if they have to pay a higher minimum wage?

No. While opponents frequently make this claim, research and experience demonstrate otherwise. In fact, many of the loudest minimum wage opponents are the country’s largest and most profitable companies. A 2012 report by the National Employment Law Project found that two-thirds of all low-wage workers are employed by large companies rather than small businesses, and that the vast majority of the largest low-wage employers in the country are earning strong profits and can afford higher wages.

It’s also important to remember that since the minimum wage has lost so much value over the last several decades, employers today are actually being allowed to pay less – in real dollars – than they were in the late 1960’s.

Many employers and small businesses, in fact, support minimum wage increases. For more, visit Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.

April 26 2014 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Domino's Workers Get Jobs Back After Protesting Unfair Wages

Twenty five Domino's employees who were fired for calling out what they described as illegal labor conditions have been given their jobs back, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday.

The delivery workers, who were employed by a franchise in New York City, were let go after complaining that they were still being paid the "tipped wage" of $5.65 per hour even though they were performing tasks, like kitchen cleaning, that should qualify them for the state's minimum wage of $7.25.

The workers then began a four-day protest alongside community members that quickly led to Schneiderman brokering an agreement between the workers and the owners of the franchise. (A copy of the agreement can be found here.)

"There’s no excuse for companies like Domino’s not following the law and there’s no reason why its workers should be forced to work off the clock or for less than minimum wage,” Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of New York Communities for Change, a social justice organization, said in a press release.

Domino's declined to comment to The Huffington Post, saying that the store is an independently-owned and operated franchise and that they had no role in the agreement.

Nevertheless, the news represents a small victory for fast food workers who have made a national push to raise their wages and improve work conditions. According to data from the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy organization, Domino's Pizza workers often can't survive on their wages alone and are forced to sign up for various public assistance programs.

Domino's alone indirectly costs taxpayers $126 million per year as a result.

"This shows that not only will our community and elected officials stand up for those treated unfairly, but that we will see the fight through until justice is served," said NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez in the press release.

The workers will be back on the job by Sunday at the latest.

April 26 2014 at 3:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Let's see . . .President Clinton left the White house with a $2 Billion budget surplus. However, he did sign the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (all Republicans), repealing the Glass-Steagall act of 1933 that forbade financial institutions from combining investment banking, commercial banking, and insurance activities under "one roof.". The following administration, cut taxes, increased spending, and left office with no exit plan for Iraq and Afghanistan, a decimated economy, and a near $1 Trillion deficit. Deficits are financed by selling bonds and bonds carry interest. The current administration entered office with a crashed economy, two wars, a deficit with accruing interest, and a "pair of handcuffs," courtesy of a hostile congress. In spite of all this, the deficit in March was the smallest since 2000. In part this was due to a 16% increase in revenue (due to some economic recovery), and, in part, a 14% decrease in spending. Although the deficit is falling, it is still a deficit and it still commands interest. The simple truth is, however, we cannot achieve a profit by increasing savings. At some point, revenue generation has to be addressed. There are a few ways to do this, but since the subject at hand is a minimum wage let's address it. In spite of all the rhetoric and projections, every study on minimum wage increases in the past has shown them to be followed by job increases not losses. Why? By putting more money into the economy, demand increases, and jobs are created to meet that demand — someone has to spend money to kick start the economic engine. The government could do it, but that would require either an increase in revenue or deficit. The private sector can do it by increasing money flow via higher wages or increased employment. Either way, someone has to open the spigot. We cannot save ourselves to prosperity. Since the current minimum wage is more minimum than wage, it would seem a good place to start. With high unemployment, there is no reason for business to initiate this. They do not have to compete for employees, there are plenty of qualified people to go around. "If your are not satisfied with your income get another job," is a naive solution — another job where? If this was an option, a lot of people would choose it. Part of the problem is private sector myopia . . . they are concerned with the current bottom line versus long term sustainability. In the long run, if progressively fewer people are working and they are making progressively lower wages, demand will progressively decline, and revenue will follow. In essence, this is the long- term path to liquidation. One person's spending is another's income. The faster they spend—the velocity of money—the more income is generated by a single dollar (multiplayer effect). I really wish the conversation on these pages would get away from blaming poor people for being poor and address corporate nearsightedness and patriotism instead.

April 26 2014 at 3:56 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law

Former fashion jewelry saleswoman Rebecca Gonzales and former Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson have one thing in common: J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) no longer employs either.

The similarity ends there. Johnson, 54, got a compensation package worth 1,795 times the average wage and benefits of a U.S. department store worker when he was hired in November 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gonzales’s hourly wage was $8.30 that year.

Across the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of companies, the average multiple of CEO compensation to that of rank-and-file workers is 204, up 20 percent since 2009, the data show. The numbers are based on industry-specific estimates for worker compensation.

Almost three years after Congress ordered public companies to reveal actual CEO-to-worker pay ratios under the Dodd-Frank law, the numbers remain unknown. As the Occupy Wall Street movement and 2012 election made income inequality a social flashpoint, mandatory disclosure of the ratios remained bottled up at the Securities and Exchange Commission, which hasn’t yet drawn up the rules to implement it. Some of America’s biggest companies are lobbying against the requirement.

“It’s a simple piece of information shareholders ought to have,” said Phil Angelides, who led the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which investigated the economic collapse of 2008. “The fact that corporate executives wouldn’t want to display the number speaks volumes.” The lobbying is part of “a street-by-street, block-by-block fight waged by large corporations and their Wall Street colleagues” to obstruct the Dodd-Frank law, he said.

April 26 2014 at 3:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Wilson

To push for the a minimum wage increase is good political strategy for the Democrats in the mid-term elections, the majority of Americans support this idea. When you do something the majority of Americans support you will get the votes. The TPGOP still hasn't figured out this simple strategy…….******* Sure they have, the DNC electorate votes for anyone that promises them MORE. It's referred to as " voting for a living" and "breeding as a career".

April 26 2014 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom Wilson's comment

". The Left legislates policies that create poverty (social programs that lock people in poverty, over regulate, cripple education for the poor, encourage single parenthood, discourage job skills etc., etc.), leading to higher numbers of people in poverty, with higher dependence on the government. What the welfare system and other kinds of governmental programs are doing is paying people to fail. In so far as they fail, they receive the money; in so far as they succeed, even to a moderate extent, the money is taken away. The Left then blames the "Rich", despite the fact that the 1% are overwhelmingly Democrats ( they control the majority of the wealthiest voting districts). This all stokes the anger, envy of the poor and they vote for more Democrats. And so the “ poverty cycle” begins again yet again. There are no economically disadvantaged groups that Democrats won’t take advantage of in return for their vote ! "In aggregate, the map of the territory Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government

April 26 2014 at 3:07 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply