Obama Pushes For Higher Minimum Wage In Area Speech

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President Barack Obama joins Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for an event at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain to discuss raising the minimum wage. Video courtesy of The White House. Photo Credit: officeofgovmalloy
President Barack Obama speaks at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain Wednesday afternoon.
President Barack Obama speaks at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain Wednesday afternoon. Photo Credit: White House via YouTube
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) joins other politicians at the rally Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University.
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) joins other politicians at the rally Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University. Photo Credit: Bob Duff via Twitter ‏@senatorduff

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – President Barack Obama brought his drive to “Give America a Raise” to a Nutmeg State crowd at Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday afternoon.

“At the top, we’re doing better than ever. But average wages have not budged,” Obama said to a crowd of more than 3,000 people, including many college students. “Too many Americans are working harder than ever just to keep up.”

Last month, Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Democratic leadership introduced a bill that would raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017. The bill passed through the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee on Tuesday. It will now move on to the full state Senate.

“I absolutely believe, as you do, that if you work 40 hours a week you should not be living in poverty in Connecticut, or in any other of the 50 states in America,” Malloy said told the crowd at Central Connecticut on Wednesday.

The state’s minimum wage rose to $8.70 per hour this past Jan. 1, and is set to increase to $9 per hour on Jan. 1, 2015. Malloy’s bill would add another 15 cents to next January’s increase, and would add two more incremental increases in 2016 and 2017 to bring the minimum to $10.10 per hour.

“This is important both to reduce our state’s income gap — the second largest in the nation — and to retain young workers who are on the verge of leaving the state because wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living,” Sal Luciano, executive director of labor union Council 4 AFCME, said in a press release before the president’s visit.

Obama’s visit to New Britain was part of his push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 as well. The jump would be even larger at the federal level, where the minimum wage is more than $1 per hour less than Connecticut’s at $7.25. 

The move would raise wages for more than 28 million people in the U.S., including 200,000 in Connecticut and 1 million in New England, Obama said.

"Raising the minimum wage also makes economic sense. When a working family has more money, that money is spent on things they otherwise would have to go without," U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District) said in a letter to supporters. "That creates demand which helps our businesses grow and hire more workers."

Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Gov. Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island and Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont also joined the president, Malloy and Connecticut’s Congressional delegation in New Britain. The four governors and Gov. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire have all signed a pact to work to raise the minimum wage in all New England states.

A new Quinnipiac University poll found that 71 percent of Connecticut voters agree with raising the state’s minimum wage. Of those, 42 percent agreed with raising the hourly rate to $10.10, while 20 percent felt the rate should be even higher.

“What every American wants is a paycheck that lets them support their families, know a little economic security, and pass down some hope and optimism to their kids,” Obama said. “And that’s worth fighting for.”

The full video of the appearance can be watched above, courtesy of the White House and the Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy. 

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Comments (10)

Here is the truth.

Here are some key takeaways from the CBO report:
1.More than 700,000 American workers would be lifted out of poverty
More than 1 million retail workers and their family members live in or close to poverty. By raising the minimum wage of full-time workers to the equivalent of $12.25 per hour, 734,075 people would be lifted out of poverty and an additional 769,191 people living near the poverty line would see their incomes rise to more than 150 percent above the poverty line.
2.GDP would rise by as much as $15.2 billion
A wage increase to $12.25 an hour would impact more than 5 million workers and their families. As these families have access to more money, they will spend more, translating to as much as $15.2 billion in new economic activity, according to Demos.

3.132,000 new jobs could be created
If the increase in economic activity reached $15.2 billion, retailers would need 132,000 new employees.

4.The wage increase would actually only cost retailers about 1 percent of total sales
Large retailers would need to absorb the higher labor cost for the 3.5 million workers earning less than $12.25 per hour. But according to Demos, most of this increase in costs would be returned to the firm in the form of productivity gains and increased revenues, amounting to only 1 percent of their total yearly sales.

5.It would generate as much as $5 billion in additional retail revenue
In fact, assuming that low-income families spend rather than save the money from the wage increase, retailers could expect at least 20 cents in new revenue for every additional payroll dollar. That would have added up to as much as $5 billion in 2012.

6.The average shopper would pay just 15 cents more per shopping trip at most
Even if the nation's largest retailers decided to pass off the cost of a $12.25 minimum wage increase entirely to customers, Demos found that an average household would spend just 7 to 15 cents more per shopping trip.

this is all fine and dandy....but at the end of the day, when it's fully implemented, 500,000 fewer people will have a job. some benefit, as you've detailed, but 500k go to ZERO.

is that fair? is that the intent?

Pathetic nonsense. Increased wages means increased costs especially in retail setting where most are paid minimum wage. Owners will simply increase their prices and it will cost more for a minimum wage earner to buy a Big Mac. The minimum wage hike hurts minimum wage earners the most. More dependency on government means more Dem voters. As I say, pathetic.

The Kenyan is a proven liar. He owns the biggest lie of the century.

Actually Johnnie
The biggest ie of the century goes to the Republican village idiot war criminal Bush.. Its called 2 wars started on lies.

the article lacks basic journalism stds by failing to cite the impact of this policy.

The Congressional Budget Office says that raising the min wage will kill 500,000 jobs. is that really what we need now? 500k more people on welfare?

clearly newsworthy, you fail to provide readers with the facts needed to understand the issue.

You have the nerve to critique basic journalism, when you lack basic grammar???????????

A sentence starts with a capital letter.

Why do you keep posting lies.. The report clearly states that raising the minimum wage will actually increase jobs.

This jug eared stooge has never had a real job in his life.What does a "community activist" know about wages and business models.What a sad disgrace that this country has sunk so low as to elect this unqualified dolt.