In a surprise move this week during his State
of the Union Address, Pres. Barack Obama called for giving millions of
Americans a pay raise. He would do it by having Congress increase the federal
minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour.
In the Tri-State, only Ohio's pay rate is above the federal
minimum wage. In the Buckeye State, it's currently $7.85/hour.
Supporters say Pres. Obama's proposal would benefit a lot of
people in our region, as well as millions of others across the country. They
argue it would boost consumer spending, helping small business owners by giving
them more sales. The Federal Reserve of Chicago estimates that a $1 jump in the
rate would increase minimum wage workers' household spending by almost $3,000 a
But critics say raising the minimum wage would actually cost
jobs and wouldn't help reduce poverty. They also point out that small
businesses are already set to be hit with new regulations and healthcare
requirements, meaning they would be the hardest hit.
Regardless of the arguments, it's clear Pres. Obama will
have a hard time getting his proposal through Congress. 2007 was the last time
a bill of this nature passed. All attempts since then have failed.
Tri-State minimum wage workers' pay better in OhioMore>>
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