In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama surprised Washington with a bold plan to raise the federal minimum wage, arguing that “in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.”
“Today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong.”
His proposal would guarantee workers at least $9.00 an hour by 2015—a 25 percent increase over the current $7.25—and index the minimum to inflation so that wages grow in tandem with rising prices. That would allow a full-time worker making the minimum wage to earn $18,720 a year—more than enough to support a family of three, according to the government's official poverty guidelines.