Momentum is growing to raise the federal minimum wage.
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama advocated for policies to support minimum wage workers: he called on Congress to “vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”
President Obama also challenged those who oppose raising the minimum wage to imagine what life would be like on a minimum wage lifestyle: “and to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.”
Far too many Americans do not have to imagine what it is like to live a low income lifestyle: it is their reality, day in and day out. At its current rate of $7.25/hour, the federal minimum wage is worth about 23% less than it was worth in the late 1960s. Since workers are not paid enough, workers have to turn to federal safety net programs since they’re paid too little at work to make ends meet on their own.