President Obama used Labor Day to renew his push to raise the nation’s minimum wage as a means of buoying the economy, noting that the 13 states which have increased base pay for workers since the beginning of this year have “added jobs faster than states did not raise the minimum wage.” This is in direct conflict to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, which predicted that bringing the minimum up to $10.10 an hour might end up “costing the country approximately 50,000 jobs.”
“America deserves a raise,” Obama stated before a union crowd during the Laborfest 2014 event at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee,WI yesterday. Yet, despite the fact that many regions throughout the nation are still suffering from a decline in available jobs, the President went on to claim that, “By almost every measure, the American economy and American workers are better off that when I took office.”
Many believe that his timing was meant as a shot in the arm for Democrats facing tough races by stressing campaign promises made by Republicans who fear economic reprisals from giving low income workers higher salaries, and thus, putting too much of a burden on the businesses that hire them.
Up until now, Obama (whose approval rate is at an all time low of just 40%) has been leery of drawing too much attention to positive economic trends lest they be proven to be more of an illusion than reality to the millions of Americans still teetering on the brink of poverty. He is also well aware of the fact that it is highly unlikely that Congress will take any action on this issue until after the midterm elections in November.