Obama’s promised minimum-wage hike
Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011. Four years later, and there has been no increase to the minimum wage. There has been no congressional vote, much less a whisper from the White House on the minimum wage.
Had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since 1968, today it would be at $10.57 per hour, instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
President Barack Obama’s absence of leadership on this issue is shameful. Four separate pieces of legislation have been introduced in the current Congress to raise the minimum wage, by Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (Illinois, 2nd District), Representative Al Green (Texas, 9th), Representative Rosa DeLauro (Connecticut, 3rd), and Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa). The Democratic leadership in Congress and the White House has ignored these bills.
President Obama is deliberately remaining silent on raising the minimum wage because of a political calculation. A recent poll by John Zogby shows that 70 percent of likely voters support raising the minimum wage. Poll after poll has confirmed that result. The U.S. has the lowest minimum wage by far among large Western industrialized countries.