Obama Says Minimum Wage Hike Is Common Sense

Mar 5, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks about raising the minimum wage at Central Connecticut State University.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama traveled to Connecticut on Wednesday to call for a raise in the federal minimum wage by nearly three dollars an hour. 

Obama spoke to an arena packed with students at Central Connecticut State University. He was joined by the governors of Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut – four states that have already increased their minimum wages beyond the federal baseline.

In his speech, the president said he understands that some people will make more money than others. "What we also believe," he said,  "[is] that nobody who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty."

Obama said low-wage workers aren’t expecting to get rich. "But they do feel like if they’re putting in back-breaking work every day," he said, "that at least, at the end of the month, they can pay the bills." To that, one person in the audience responded, "I know that's right!"

Not everyone agrees. A spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business said the president’s plan would inflate labor costs, result in fewer jobs, and create higher consumer prices.

See more WNPR News coverage related to Obama's visit to Connecticut:

President Obama Visits Connecticut, in Tweets

Business Audience Quizzes Malloy on Minimum Wage

Economists' Views Differ on Whether Minimum Wage Would Hurt Job Growth

CCSU Students React to Obama's Visit, Message

President Obama: "It's Time to Give America a Raise"

President Obama Outlines "Opportunity Agenda" in Connecticut Speech

Obama Comes to Connecticut to Sell Minimum Wage