For the past four years the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25, putting the United States near the bottom of developed nations. On Wednesday, Washington Post columnist Matt Miller joined the Cycle hosts to discuss what can to be done to help ensure that working Americans earn a decent wage. With about 30 million workers earning between $7.25- and $10.00-per-hour, he said, “if we brought that up in a way that’s still economically rational and doesn’t put an undue burden on business, you inject billions and billions of dollars of stimulus into the economy.” In other words, a higher minimum wage helps not only those workers who earn it directly but the economy as a whole, as spending power will increase.
The first step, said Miller, would come with President Obama “advocating it in his State of the Union.” The president has been silent on this issue since his 2009 campaign. Miller thinks an increase is politically possible now. “I also think on the Republican side, businesses are not lock step opposed to an increase in the minimum wage.”
“This is something that is politically popular,” he said. “If they do the polling and think about what is just and good economics, there will be good consensus.”