Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) is calling on President Obama to keep his 2008 campaign promise to “stand behind” legislation that would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour, reports The Daily Caller’s Nicholas Ballasy.
“In 2011, he wanted to see the minimum wage raised to $9.50. It is now 2012,” Rep. Jackson said as he announced his Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012 bill Wednesday outside of the Capitol building.
“I’m calling on President Barack Obama to honor his campaign commitment of 2008 to stand behind legislation that raises the minimum wage for the American people a little more than he requested in 2008 because the numbers and the economy reflect that $10 is not an unreasonable starting point,” the Democrat state representative added.
Watch Rep. Jackson’s remarks (via The Daily Caller):
Standing with Rep. Jackson is former presidential candidate Ralph Nader (remember him?) who backs the measure because, he argues, it will spur the U.S. economy.
“Even by raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour, it would still remain below the minimum wage in today’s dollars in 1968,” said Nader.
Even Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich got in on the act, claiming that Rep. Jackson’s bill could be the president key to reelection.
“I’m here to say that President Obama could guarantee his election if he came out in favor of Jesse Jackson’s proposal -- that President Obama could instill confidence again in the hearts of millions of Americans who are wondering, ‘Is this government really there for them or is it just there for Wall Street?’ This is an important moment,” he said.
But are they on the right track? That is, will raising the national minimum wage actually help the American people and the U.S. economy? Famed free market economist and 1976 Nobel laureate Milton Friedman would say "no":