Co-authored for the Heritage Foundation.
President Obama argued in his State of the Union address that “no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” That is a noble goal, but it has little to do with the minimum wage rate.
Only 2.9 percent of U.S. employees work for the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Very few of those fit the stereotype the President painted. Less than a quarter of minimum wage workers live at or below the poverty line, while two-thirds come from families above 150 percent of the poverty line.