In tonight's State of the Union address, President Obama said:
We know our economy’s stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty -- and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.No, let's not. No matter what we "declare," there is going to be some amount of poverty in a country of 300 million people — and Obama's proposal would increase that amount. Raising the minimum wage creates more poverty by preventing people from being able to find employers who are willing to pay them. The law can only force employers to pay the minimum wage to the workers they do hire; it can't force them to hire anyone. Make it more expensive to hire workers, and not as many workers will get hired. The difference between $7.25 an hour and $9 an hour is tiny next to the difference between having a job (which can lead to getting better jobs) and not having a job.
Also, why should the question be whether you could single-handedly support two children on the minimum wage? The minimum wage applies to everyone. Not everyone is single-handedly raising two children! To forbid workers in other circumstances from getting a job paying a certain amount just because someone would want to earn a higher amount is simply cruel.