President Obama pitches minimum wage hike at U of M - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

President Obama pitches minimum wage hike at University of Michigan

Shortly before 10 a.m. set up was still under way. Shortly before 10 a.m. set up was still under way.
Around 1 p.m. students began trickling in. Around 1 p.m. students began trickling in.
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ANN ARBOR, MI (Toledo News Now) -

President Barack Obama continued his push to increase the national minimum wage in a speech at the University of Michigan Wednesday.

President Obama first proposed Congress increase the minimum wage to $9 in his 2013 State of the Union Address. Late last year, the president announced his support for a $10.10 federal minimum wage, which he says should be tied to inflation.


Click here for a breakdown of minimum wage rates state by state


Air Force One touched down at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Before heading to campus the President stopped for a Reuben sandwich at Zingerman's Deli. President Obama said he chose to stop at Zingerman's because he pays his workers more than Michigan's $7.40.

"If workers are being paid well, they are spending more money and businesses have more money," said President Obama.

After he finished his lunch, the president's motorcade drove through downtown Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan's Intramural Sports Building. There, he spoke a crowd of about 1,400 people.

President Obama referenced Henry Ford's decision to pay his workers $5 per day a century ago, more than double the going rate at the time. 

"Henry Ford understood it was going to be good for business," President Obama told the crowd.  "It meant workers could afford to buy the cars that they built."

The president is asking Congress to gradually increase the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage to $10.10-an-hour by 2016.

"It's easy to remember – ten, ten," Obama said. "It will lift millions of people out of poverty."

"You would think this would be a no-brainer," President Obama said.

The point President Obama kept driving home is that it is time to give America a raise.

"Nobody who works full time should be raising their family in poverty," said President Obama.

It's a growing problem the president said he is trying to solve. Throughout his fiery speech at the University of Michigan he kept saying it's time to do right by hard working Americans. He noted the average minimum wage workers aren't teens but adults in their 30's, the majority of them women.

"That means making sure that folks are paid equal for doing equal work," said President Obama.

He said several states have already raised their minimum wages, and its time the country follows.

"I'm determined to do my part to lift wages and improve take home pay any way I can. My attitude is if you cook our troop's meals, you wash their dishes, your country should pay you a living wage," said President Obama.

The president kept saying American is a place for opportunity for all, and its time the country stood behind hard working Americans.

Read more on the Congressional Budget Office's report on the effects of raising the minimum wage here

Mobile users, click on the "Video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here.

Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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