Thursday, May 24, 2018

In Michigan, Obama presses for higher minimum wage

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — President Barack Obama called the GOP's latest budget plan a "stinkburger" in a speech here Wednesday, employing a series of zingers to draw a contrast with Republicans on the economy in an election year.

In a speech to an enthusiastic crowd of 1,400 at the University of Michigan, Obama repeatedly mocked Republican ideas about how to improve the economy and touted his own proposal to raise the minimum wage, and poked fun at GOP attempts to repeal his landmark health care law.

Obama, who visited the local Zingerman's deli for a sandwich before the speech, said Republican proposals to cut taxes for wealthier Americans and scale back federal investment in education are so shopworn "it's like that movie Groundhog Day, except it's not funny. If they tried to sell this sandwich at Zingerman's, they'd have to call it the 'stinkburger' or the 'meanwich.' "

The president's appearance here in eastern Michigan was his latest bid to put pressure on Republicans to support his proposal to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10, which he promoted in January in his State of the Union address. Republicans oppose the plan, citing federal estimates that it could eliminate up to 500,000 jobs even as it raised wages for many more workers.

Obama said the GOP will have to make clear whether they support paying the lowest-paid workers more money: "You've got a choice: You can give America the shaft, or you can give it a raise."

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