President Obama tackles minimum wage, gun control - WNEM TV 5

President Obama tackles minimum wage, gun control

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A lot of people across Mid-Michigan are talking about President Obama's State of the Union address.

One topic that hit home Tuesday night for several people was minimum wage. The President wants to increase the minimum hourly wage to 9 dollars by the end of 2015.

Right now, 19 states and the District of Columbia have higher minimum wage rates than the federal requirement, and Washington has the highest at $9.19.

The President also wants to require the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation. The President wants the rate to increase in stages over three years. Meanwhile, there's a proposal in the Michigan house to raise the minimum wage in our state to $10 an hour.

The President touched on the debate over gun control. President Obama challenges Congress to vote on gun control proposals, including his plan to ban assault weapons and high capacity ammo clips. It comes nearly two months since the deadly school shooting in Newtown, CT.

Republicans have been slow to act on the President's gun plan, saying those measures impede on Americans' Second Amendment rights.

Obama will be hitting the road Wednesday. The President be in North Carolina, pushing the plans he laid out during Tuesday night's state of the union address.

Republican Michigan Congressman Dave Camp weighed in on the President's speech Tuesday night. The Congressman said "Tonight the President laid out a vision for America that was formulated on the same failed policies that have left millions of Americans without a job – more taxes and more spending. The President's call for higher taxes is anything but tax reform.  Tax reform should result in a simpler, fairer tax code for families and more jobs for American workers.  The President's plan does nothing to change a tax code that is so complex that nearly 90 percent of families are forced to pay someone else to prepare their taxes or buy commercial software just to fill out their tax return.  Similarly, instead of closing loopholes to lower rates and create more jobs, the President closes loopholes simply to pay for more spending in Washington.  More spending and more taxes are not the answer to America's problems.  I'll work with the President to close loopholes, but only if it results in hardworking taxpayers getting a simpler, fairer tax code and an economy with more jobs – that is real tax reform."

The state of the union has become quite a talker on our Facebook page. Here's what some of you are saying.

Tammy writes "minimum wage. It needs to be raised. Too many people are only able to obtain jobs with minimum wage." Adam says raising minimum wage means a rise in prices on products and services, which means less hiring and jobs.

You can also share your opinion on the topic. Head the WNEM Facebook page or email us at

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