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Obama Seeks to Jump-Start Stalled Economic Plans

Wall Street Journal (01/28/14) Carol E. Lee; Peter Nicholas; et al.

Business leaders listened carefully to President Obama’s State of the Union address last night, eager for details about how he plans to use executive power to try to narrow the gap between rich and poor and speed the country’s economic recovery. Obama ticked off an array of policy proposals aimed at helping struggling Americans earn more and find gainful employment in a tough economy.

The president stated, “Corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. … Our job is to reverse these trends.”

Obama spoke about his plans to sign an executive order in the coming weeks to raise the federal minimum wage for employees on new federal contracts. However, he conceded that the White House cannot achieve certain goals on its own. To this end, the president urged the U.S. House and Senate to raise the federal minimum wage for all eligible workers to $10.10 an hour, up from $7.25.