Fact of the Week: Americans Not in Congress Overwhelmingly Support $12.50 Minimum Wage


January 23, 2015

75% of Americans support raising the minimum wage $12.50In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama called out members of Congress who have failed to raise the minimum wage, saying,

“If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”

We’ve known for a while that the vast majority of Americans support raising the minimum wage, with the exception, of course, of those members of Congress to whom the President was referring here. Now, thanks to a new poll, we know that 75 percent of Americans – including 53 percent of Republicans – support raising the wage to $12.50 by 2020. Even in “red” states that went for Romney in the 2012 election, seven in 10 Americans support this increase.

In addition, the poll showed that 82 percent of Americans – including 69 percent of Republicans – support automatically adjusting the to the cost of living, and 71 percent believe that tipped workers should be paid the same minimum wage as non-tipped workers.

minimum wage reaganWe, and several guest bloggers, have written quite a bit about the critical need to raise the minimum wage on our blog. CHN supports a proposal to raise the wage to $12.50 by 2020, as do several members of the Coalition, including the National Employment Law Project and the Economic Policy Institute. The proposal would include annual increases of $1.05 per year for five years, with automatic indexing adjustments each year after that. It would also phase out the tipped worker wage to equal that of the standard minimum wage.

Based on the response President Obama’s minimum wage line received on Tuesday (standing and cheering from the Dems, stoic stares from most of the Republicans), a $12.50 minimum wage isn’t likely to fly through Congress anytime soon. And that’s a shame. Because millions of American people not only want to see this raise, they desperately need it.

Fact of the Week
minimum wage