"Let’s declare," President Obama said in his State of the Union address
, "that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour." To which many advocates of raising the minimum wage said "we're so glad you're talking about this, and $9 is a good start ... but it's just a start." Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller subsequently introduced
a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 over two years, and have been building support for it ever since. Now, they've gotten the president's support
“The president has long supported raising the minimum wage so hard-working Americans can have a decent wage for a day’s work to support their families and make ends meet,” a White House official said.
President Obama, the official continued, supports the Harkin-Miller bill, also known as the Fair Minimum Wage Act ...
The plan is now to combine the minimum wage increase with a tax break in which "small businesses would be able to deduct the total cost of investments in equipment or expansions, up to a maximum of $500,000 in the first year," Catherine Rampell and Steven Greenhouse report, a proposal that might shake loose some Republican votes in the House as the 2014 elections approach. A break targeted at small businesses may not only get small business owners behind the raise, but blunt the inevitable wailing about small business from industry groups that actually represent very large business. And millions of American workers stuck at the poverty wages of the current $7.25 federal minimum wage badly need this raise.