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Thursday, April 2, 2015

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Obama visits Michigan, speaks about raising minimum wage


President Barack Obama smiles as he gives his speech April 2, 2014, at the Intramural Sports Building at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. President Obama spoke to the crowd about his goal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Erin Hampton/The State News

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — President Barack Obama gave a speech at the University of Michigan on Wednesday to garner support for raising the federal minimum wage.

Obama addressed a crowd of students, many of whom had camped overnight to receive a ticket, about the need for fair wages in America.

“The economy increasingly has folks at the top doing really well,” Obama said. “But middle class families, and people struggling to get into the middle class, they’re working harder, but their wages (and) their incomes aren’t going up. We’re a better country than that.”

The pay they deserve, Obama said, would come through a piece of legislation currently being debated in Congress. If passed, the legislation would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

Obama also spoke on the need for world-class, affordable education. With many students working part-time jobs while attending college, the legislation could increase many students’ ability to rely less on loans and more on working wages.

Obama was introduced by a U-M student who spoke about her experience paying for tuition and living expenses on the wages of two jobs. She said she supported the wage raise because minimum wage is insufficient in paying for her expenses as a student.

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