Obama Wants to Raise Minimum Wage to $9
He also wants preschool available to all kids, tougher gun laws
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2013 8:12 PM CST
Updated Feb 12, 2013 9:20 PM CST
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(Newser) – We knew much of what he was going to say in advance—a focus on gun violence, job creation to create a "thriving middle class," and a quicker drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan, for starters—but President Obama still had a speech to give. Some highlights and odds and ends from the State of the Union address:

  • Read the prepared transcript at Salon.
  • Obama wants to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour by the end of 2015, reports the New York Times. "No one who works full time should have to live in poverty," he said.
  • Obama also called for a significant expansion in preschool programs around the nation to make them available to every child.
  • Newtown made clear it's time to pass tougher gun laws, said Obama. He singled out the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, the young girl recently killed in Chicago. "They deserve a vote," he said. "Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence—they deserve a simple vote."

  • After pushing a "Fix It First" program to repair roads, bridges, and rail lines, Obama added his annual joke: "And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings."
  • Obama "not only mentioned climate change but made clear that if Congress didn’t act, he would," writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. He brought up Superstorm Sandy, wildfires, etc.—"about as direct a call for action by Congress on climate change as you will hear from a president." (For the record, Ted Nugent "seems to be in true pain during this climate change section," observed Slate's Dave Weigel.)
  • "The president devoted a large chunk of his speech to deficit reduction, but didn’t propose anything new," writes Damian Paletta at the Wall Street Journal.
  • Obama also announced a nonpartisan commission to reform voting laws. “When any Americans—no matter where they live or what their party—are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.”
  • Conservative justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia skipped the speech, notes Politico.
  • Read excerpts from Marco Rubio's response or read the full text.

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Feb 15, 2013 4:10 AM CST
Dodd/Frank put 38 small banks out of business in 2012!
Feb 15, 2013 4:08 AM CST
-Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s. -The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982. -Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs. 1. So can anyone tell me who gets hurt by the added labor costs? 2. What's next? Corporations will be expected to pay $20 per hour for unskilled, uneducated labor!
Feb 14, 2013 9:49 AM CST
When I started working 60 years ago I was paid the minimum wage of 55 cents per hour. It is now $7.25 per hour. If the Republicans think that raising the minimum wage hurts job creation then there would be less workers now than 60 years ago. Just think what America would be like if the Republicans had prevented the minimum wage from going from 55 cents per hour to the current $7.25. At first my boss paid me 55 cents per hour even though unknown to me the minimum wage had gone to 60 cents per hour a few months before. A few months after I started working I asked for a raise and my boss started paying me 60 cents per hour which I thought was a 5 cent raise but actually was no raise at all because he just increases what he was paying me to the legal minimum wage. The Feds caught him underpaying me and made him repay me the wages he really owed me. So after working for a few months in this part time job of 20 hours a week being underpaid I decided to balance things out. I started stealing money from the register. For the next several years I stole at least $10.00 a week from the register which more than doubled my salary. If he could cheat me then I would cheat him. I continued working in that store through college making what I considered a fair wage, not what my boss thought was a fair wage. My real salary increased as my needs increased. My boss never knew that I was stealing from him because he thought that he was stealing from me. When I graduated college he gave me great letters of recommendation.