Speaking at the University of Michigan University in Ann Arbor Wednesday, President Obama told students that Republicans don’t like them and don’t want to help them.
And judging by the applause and cheers, the students seemed to believe him.
“I’m determined to do my part to lift wages, improve take-home pay any way I can,” the president said in making his pitch for a higher minimum wage.
“Here’s the problem,” he continued. “You’ve got some Republicans saying we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage because — (chuckles) — they said this: Because, well, it just helps young people. Now, first of all, I think it’s pretty good to help young people,” he said to cheers and applause.
“You know, I — I don’t know what’s wrong with helping young people. You know, the folks who say that probably — next thing you know, they’ll say, get off my lawn! (Laughter.)
Obama said raising the minimum wage should be a “no-brainer,” and he made it clear that his criticism was aimed at Republicans in Congress — not at “Republicans out in America,” some of whom “get paid the minimum wage, so they want to see a raise.”
“Republicans in Congress don’t want to vote to raise it at all. In fact, some want to just scrap the minimum wage. One House Republican said it’s outlived its usefulness. (Laughter, jeers.) No, that’s what he said. Others said — (boos) — no, no, no, don’t — don’t boo; organize,” Obama urged the students.
He said congressional Republicans won’t hear boos, but they can read a petition and see votes.
Obama also attacked the Republican budget released this week by Rep. Paul Ryan, explaining how it “would shrink opportunity for your generation” while giving “a massive tax cut to households making more than $1 million a year.” He called it a “stinkburger.”
And he mocked Republicans for having “one original idea, which is to repeal Obamacare — because they haven’t tried that 50 times.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office: Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold.