President Obama Calls For Minimum Wage Hike

Proposes upping minimum wage to $9 per hour in State of the Union address.

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama called for a raise in the minimum wage from its current $7.25 to  $9 per hour. In addition, he proposed raising the tipped minimum wage — made by tipped employees, such as waiters— and automatically adjusting the minimum wage with inflation.

Under the proposal, hourly wages would reach $9 in stages by the end of 2015. While $9 would bring the minimum wage to its highest in more than three decades, it would still be lower—when accounting for inflation—than the minimum wage rate in the 1960s and 1970s. The Administration noted the $1.75 increase in the minimum wage would be enough to offset roughly 10-20% of the increase in income inequality since 1980, the New York Times reported.

“The president said he was putting jobs and the economy front and center tonight, and that’s exactly what he did by calling for a minimum wage increase,” Christine Owens, the executive director of the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement. “A higher minimum wage is key to getting the economy back on track for working people and the middle class. The president’s remarks also cement the growing consensus on the left and right that one of the best ways to get the economy going again is to put money in the pockets of people who work.”

But some economists argue that making employees more expensive for companies to hire could add to the unemployment rate, and the proposal is expected to meet with much opposition from conservatives and business owners.

Many states have been raising the minimum wage on their own. Last week, a proposal in New York to raise the minimum wage to $8.75 met with much opposition.

“The current economic climate for New York’s mom-and-pop convenience stores leaves them unable to afford the 21% mid-year spike in payroll costs advocated today by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and other organizations,” said NYACS President James Calvin in a statement. “Between general economic conditions and the huge loss of retail business due to widespread tobacco and motor fuel tax avoidance, their sales are flat or declining. Thus, their only options for dealing with a steep rise in wages would be to reduce staff, cut benefits, or increase prices proportionately, any of which would further weaken their businesses and the overall economy.”

  • BJ

    That would really hurt my stores. I couldn’t afford to pay $9 min wage, plus the costs with “Obama care”! We need to get this guy out of office! Way to go America.

    • Joe

      We have 3 C-stores and a small grocery store with pumps. Our payroll already easily dwarfs any expense we have, including our borrowing costs which aren’t cheap either. I have it figured that $9 minimum wage will costs us around an extra $100k a year. Fuck that. My margins are already squeezed too tight. Only around 1% of my gross sales find their way to my pocket as it is.

      • Gw in Mi

        This has nothing to do with minimum wage but has everything to do with Obama getting more payroll taxes to fund more government! He is NOT for the middle class at all!

  • BJ

    That would really hurt my stores. I couldn’t afford to pay $9 min wage, plus the costs with “Obama care”! We need to get this guy out of office! Way to go America.

    • Joe

      We have 3 C-stores and a small grocery store with pumps. Our payroll already easily dwarfs any expense we have, including our borrowing costs which aren’t cheap either. I have it figured that $9 minimum wage will costs us around an extra $100k a year. Fuck that. My margins are already squeezed too tight. Only around 1% of my gross sales find their way to my pocket as it is.

      • Gw in Mi

        This has nothing to do with minimum wage but has everything to do with Obama getting more payroll taxes to fund more government! He is NOT for the middle class at all!

  • Riverstop

    An increase of the minimum wage here in North Idaho would hurt my one location CStore. I already work 7 days a week to keep payroll down, I guess I can work eight!!! Obama does not care about small business.

  • Riverstop

    An increase of the minimum wage here in North Idaho would hurt my one location CStore. I already work 7 days a week to keep payroll down, I guess I can work eight!!! Obama does not care about small business.

  • Mony

    This wouldn’t effect anything as all the cstores and mkts would just raise the prices. Just inflation.
    This is what happens when the govt just prints more notes and Money flows
    Fixes nothing but gives everyone the hope that everything is fine.
    Happened before and will happen again in future.

  • Mony

    This wouldn’t effect anything as all the cstores and mkts would just raise the prices. Just inflation.
    This is what happens when the govt just prints more notes and Money flows
    Fixes nothing but gives everyone the hope that everything is fine.
    Happened before and will happen again in future.

  • Justin

    It is the responsibility of business owners to fairly pay their employees. Business is cut throat and the pivot of success has little to do with paying your employees barely enough to afford the gas to get to and back from work. If you fail in business here in America it’s because your prices, product, selection, and/or quality do not appeal to the consumer. I am genuinely sick of hearing excuses for everyone’s failure, when your shortcomings are your failure to realize what the entire capitalist system is based on. I shop at small business when I can because sometimes for the less common items it is the only way to get what I want and there is room for growth when you provide a product or service that fulfills a need, example e-cigarettes.

  • Justin

    It is the responsibility of business owners to fairly pay their employees. Business is cut throat and the pivot of success has little to do with paying your employees barely enough to afford the gas to get to and back from work. If you fail in business here in America it’s because your prices, product, selection, and/or quality do not appeal to the consumer. I am genuinely sick of hearing excuses for everyone’s failure, when your shortcomings are your failure to realize what the entire capitalist system is based on. I shop at small business when I can because sometimes for the less common items it is the only way to get what I want and there is room for growth when you provide a product or service that fulfills a need, example e-cigarettes.

  • Jill

    Raise our minimum wage! We would love that!! But lower our taxes! Seems like too many small local businesses are closing because of all the “fees” and taxes they have to pay…. Now, to add this, and to have people say NO!!! We cant afford to pay people more! So, we would rather have more poverty level workers than less taxes? Its not the amount of minimum wage that we should be arguing against!

  • Jill

    Raise our minimum wage! We would love that!! But lower our taxes! Seems like too many small local businesses are closing because of all the “fees” and taxes they have to pay…. Now, to add this, and to have people say NO!!! We cant afford to pay people more! So, we would rather have more poverty level workers than less taxes? Its not the amount of minimum wage that we should be arguing against!

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