“If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year; go try it!” US President Barack Obama told a Republican-dominated congress yesterday.This received a standing ovation from vice President Joe Biden, US secretary of state John Kerry and notable Left-wing senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to name a few.
Those who kept their hands on their laps and their backsides in their seats were speaker John Boehner and the entire Republican caucus who had gathered for the speech.
“Middle class economics works… expanding opportunity works” Mr. Obama said, being met with cackles from numerous Republicans. He continued:
“We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance or unraveling the new rules on Wall street… or re-fighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got to fix a broken system. And if a bill comes to my desk trying to do any of these things; I will veto it”.
US vice president Joe Biden met with Democratic Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti earlier last year to discuss the possibility of lifting the minimum wage to $10.10 (currently $7.25) which was viewed as left-wing radicalism by conservatives.
But there are signals Obama wants to go far higher, looking at the possibility of a $15 living wage.
The ‘Occupy Democrats’ Facebook page outlined Obama’s five aims for his final two years in office;
1. Raise taxes on Wall street and cut them for the middle class
2. Invest in early childhood education [and] free community college
3. Raise the minimum wage to a livable wage and strengthen overtime laws
4. Take action to prevent climate change
5. Fix our crumbling bridges, roads, ports, and trains
Also outlined in Obama’s speech was a plan to strengthen the rights of women, pregnant women (a women’s right to choose), gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered people.
It was the first state of the union speech in US history to mention the word ‘lesbian’.
Just how much of this speech would our Prime Minister, John Key support?
In the 2014 Christchurch leaders debate he mocked David Cunliffe as a radical, telling him to look to America which has a “left-wing president” that didn’t lift the minimum wage during his time in office. Ignorant was Key to the facts that President Obama only didn’t pass a lift in the minimum wage because of a Republican-dominated congress. Obama has supported a raise since he became president in 2009; six years ago.
Will John Key now support a living wage? Or at least a lift?
How about a woman’s right to choose?
Come on John, follow your buddy’s lead!