In his State of the Union speech on February 12, President Obama proposed both raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and tying the minimum wage to the cost of living.
The president introduced the topic of the minimum wage by stating. “Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.”
He then stated, “We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day's work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong.
“That's why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. Tonight, let's declare 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 an hour....
“For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. And a whole lot of folks out there would probably need less help from government. In fact, working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up, while CEO pay has never been higher. So here's an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: Let's tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.”