How Will Obama’s Wage Crusade Affect American Jobs?

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President Barack Obama is serious about raising the wages of lower-income Americans — so serious that he’s willing to attract the ire of many Republicans and business owners by bypassing Congress in order to change the federal laws surrounding wage policies in the United States. He said as much in his 2014 State of the Union Address, issuing the first of what appear to be many ultimatums on the issue of fair working wages in America.

“I intend to lead by example,” said the president. “In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.” He encouraged state government and legislators to do the same, arguing that the people are on their side, and that waiting for this Congress to get its act together would be a waste of time.

The day after his State of the Union, President Obama made good on his promise and signed the executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. The move attracted no shortage of ire from opponents, but the president was unfazed.

On March 12, President Obama made another executive decision. “Today, I’m going to use my pen to give more Americans the chance to earn the overtime pay that they deserve,” said the president in his statement on the matter. “If you go above and beyond to help your employer and your economy succeed, then you should share a little bit in that success.”

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