President Obama Pushes for Higher Minimum Wage on Plant Tour
President Barack Obama is pushing for a higher minimum wage because he says Americans who work full time should not be in poverty.
The president followed up his call for the increase from $7.25 to $9 an hour in Tuesday night's State of the Union address with a trip to a North Carolina manufacturing plant.
Canadian-based Linamar Corp. opened a former Volvo plant in Asheville that had gone dark and rehired some of its workers. Obama touted it as an example of America attracting jobs from overseas.
He says the key to reviving America's economy is to bring more jobs to the United States, give Americans the skills they need to perform them and provide those workers with a decent living.
In all, 19 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages set above the federal rate of $7.25. Obama highlighted that disparity in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
The proposal is renewing the age-old debate about whether boosting the minimum wage helps or hurts the economy. Advocates claim it pumps more money into the economy, helping to create new jobs. Business groups say it curbs demand for workers.
House Speaker John Boehner explained why he thinks raising the minimum wage is a bad idea.
Boehner says that when you "raise the price of employment," there are fewer jobs. He asks, "Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?"
But Obama, speaking today in North Carolina, said giving workers a decent living is part of the key to reviving the economy. He said, "If you work full time, you shouldn't be in poverty." (AP)