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Wreckonomics: Worker says hours cut due to Obamacare; Obama cites as reason minimum wage has to increase

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By Doug Powers  •  February 1, 2014 11:11 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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During a “Google Hangout” on Friday, President Obama heard from somebody who said he was a fry cook who’s had his hours cut from full time so the place he works could “avoid paying health care” (presumably due to Obamacare regs). President Obama’s answer? That’s why we have to raise the minimum wage.

This exchange takes place at about the 14 minute mark of the video below (partial transcript):

Question: Good afternooon, Mr. President. My name is Darnell Summers, I’m 57 years old, and I work in the fast food industry. I have been on strike four times — I’m only making $7.25 an hour — I’ve been on strike four times in association with Wisconsin Jobs Now to try to get a increase in wages and a fast food union, with no prevail. My question to you is, what can you and Congress do, to help people as myself, in this situation … survive. Because with $7.25 — and we were broken down to part time to avoid paying health insurance — we can’t survive. It’s not living.

Obama: Well, Darnell, I agree with you. And on Tuesday in my State of the Union I talked about this. We’ve got to make sure the economy is growing and creating jobs. We gotta make sure folks have the skills to get those jobs. But we’ve also got to make sure that work pays. And the minimum wage in this country has not gone up in a very long time. It’s actually worth about 20 percent less than when Ronald Reagan came into office back in 1980. And, I think, the one thing Americans agree on is that if you work full time in this country you should not be in poverty when you’re raising your family.

Because 40 hours a week at $7.25 an hour is so much worse than 28 hours a week at $10.10?

“On Tuesday in my State of the Union I talked about this.” In the SOTU, Obama talked about people getting their hours cut due to Obamacare? Must have missed that.

If raising the minimum wage to offset the hour cuts and other hits to the economy Obamacare hath wrought, pretty soon the minimum wage is going to be $25 an hour and they’ll still be pretending not to know why so many people remain worse off than ever.

A different person had this hard-hitting question:

“Hello, Mr President, this is about the coolest thing ever,” he said, explaining that “out of a million [questions] that I’d love to ask you over a beer somewhere,” one stood out:

One man to another, one father to another, one American to another… How are you? … Is everything good with you, man?

Get that man a chair, White House Press Corps.

(h/t Twitchy)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Barack Obama, Health care, New York Times, Paul Krugman