Obama Rallies a Connecticut Crowd For Minimum Wage Hike

Four New England governors join Obama in a college gym

Minimum Wage Debate Rages On In Highest Minimum Wage State



President Barack Obama called on Congress to raise the minimum wage, in the first of a series of public appearances meant to rally support for the increase.
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Obama made his appearance Wednesday in a college gymnasium in New Britain, Connecticut, along with four New England governors who have raised their own states' minimum wage above the federal minimum. The president dubbed them "the justice league of governors."

It was the first in a series of appearances aimed at rallying public support, and putting pressure on Congressional Republicans who oppose the increase. The president wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25.

The last increase was in 2007.

In his speech Wednesday, Obama placed the responsibility squarely on his party's Republican opponents: "The problem is Republicans in Congress oppose raising the minimum wage. Now, I don't know if that's just because I proposed it. Maybe I should say I oppose raising the minimum wage. They'd be for it. That's possible," he said.

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The president was joined by Governors Dan Molloy (D-Conn.), Deval L. Patrick (D-Mass.), Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) and Lincoln Chafee (I-R.I.). All have worked to push through increases in the mandated minimum wages in their own states.

Connecticut's governor played a featured role in one of the most recent exchanges of harsh words that has marked this escalating political debate. After a White House meeting of the National Governors Association, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, accused the president of "waving the white flag of surrender" on jobs and economic growth by seeking a minimum wage increase. Governor Molloy called Governor Jindal's comment "the most insane statement I've ever heard."

President Obama and the Democratic Party are working to push the issue to the forefront in time for the Congressional midterm elections later this year.

There already is considerable popular support for the increase. In the most recent poll on the issue by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, released in December, 63 percent favored boosting the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

There are signs that opposition to the increase could spell trouble for a candidate this year. In a new poll by The Washington Post and ABC News, 50 percent of those polled said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the minimum wage increase. That was the highest support for any issue mentioned in the poll, conducted in late February and the beginning of March.

The Democrats' argument got a boost from a report issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimated that an increase in the minimum wage would lift about 900,000 Americans out of poverty.

That would also reduce federal spending on food stamps by about $4.6 billion, according to a new report from the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.

Many full-time workers in low-paid jobs are now eligible for food stamps. The government's official "poverty threshold" is currently $19,530 for a family of three. A family with an income less than 130% of that figure is eligible to receive food stamp benefits.

Opponents of the increase argue that a higher minimum wage would kill job creation and hurt businesses just recovering from a devastating recession.

Before the speech, the president had lunch with the four governors at a restaurant whose owner pays his employees considerably above the current minimum wage.

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jimdavis11a

$10.10 now isn't as much as the $1.60 min wage was in 1968. Adjusted for inflation $1.60 equals $10.75 today. Source: www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

March 06 2014 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
migarob

Hufpost "forgot " to mention that if the minimum wage is raised the cbo said there would be 500,000 jobs lost. If the economy would rebound employers would pay more than the minimun wage such as the last paragraph attests to. The problem is too many people are in low paying jobs because thats all they can find and are looking toward raising the minium wage as a way to get a pay raise. They don't realise that they might get a pay raise or they might get a pink slip. If the cost of labor goes up there is less money to go around for employees. The only soultion is less employees and the ones left have to work harder and faster or some one else will be waiting outside the door to take their place. Think about it, elections have concenquences.

March 06 2014 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rich Johnson

If the minimum wage is raised almost 40% employers will expect more from the people getting raises and will result in other employees getting laid off. Does Pres. Obama not realize that our unemployment is high enough now. This is probably all we can expect from a man who has never worked for a living. Then again a boy can't be expected to do a man's job.

March 06 2014 at 2:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
runswthscisors40

Minimum wage is not a career wage..........if you've been at the same job for 5+ years, the minimum wage is not the problem.............

March 06 2014 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
buckeye3118

PopStar MESSiah taking more steps towards creating a crisis that will collapse the economy, and allow him to become the socialist dictator that puppetmaster George Soros promised and paid for.

March 06 2014 at 1:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
posthuf

Have any of you thought about what he's been saying?
"Greatest recovery ever." "Created millions of good paying jobs."
"Far too many people can't find a job." "Employers don't pay enough."
Every word he says contradicts the one he said a minute ago.
The only reason he's in office is because 'we, the people' have been brain washed by the media we allow to lie to us on a daily basis and a government run education system that decides who gets what education and what job and how high they can rise in life.
FREEDOM MEANS THE FREEDOM TO SUCCEED OR FAIL ON OUR OWN, NOT UNDER GOVERNMENT CONTROL!

March 06 2014 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Glenn Sailfish

Come on BO....concentrate on something that means something to the economy. And please, no comments telling me how this wage increase will do that. I don't buy it.

March 06 2014 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Bill

These minimum wage jobs were never meant to be permanent, they are a transition from the teen years to adulthood where you move up to a full time permanent position. So if BO gets his way the cost to the consumer will go up, we will have more surly people waiting on us and the lowest skill folks will be getting laid off.

March 06 2014 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
cabinsmoke

Maybe this country has learned that being a minority plays no factor in being qualified for office. Just like being white doesn't.

March 06 2014 at 11:27 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Susan

Why are there people against raising the minimum wage? As to the statement ". The government's official "poverty threshold" is currently $19,530 for a family of three." where do these families live? By their figures that would be $1627.50 a month for a family of three. None of this makes sense. What about those that only make around $8700 a month? Can you imagine trying to pay utilities, rent and groceries out of that?

March 06 2014 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Susan's comment
michael6179

Its not the governments place to tell private business what to pay anyone. The obama gang is the absolute worst managers of our money, and the last people to tell us anything. Another issue I have, is self responsibility. What are people with no skills, and no education doing having children and buying homes?

March 06 2014 at 11:31 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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