In Obama's SOTU, he was both passionate and empathetic regarding the need to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. While this is admirable on his behalf, just how realistic would $9.00 an hour be for those in low end jobs, let alone for those in DC recommending such wages increase? For example, with the price of gas at its current levels [in California] that nine dollars would represent maybe 2 gallons of gas; or two Whopper specials [two single patty Whoppers, small fry and small drink]; or even worse, two gallons of milk for the family to soak their cereal in at breakfast. Nine dollars an hour will do little to keep up with rental hikes, increases in utilities [that are increasing to keep up with the cost to pay overheads], groceries. When you think about just the cost of groceries, one must remember that the increases passed on to the consumer are necessary because those who grow, produce, package, distribute and deliver groceries to stores [who have employees and benefits to pay too] have ever increasing overheads to meet as well. And those overheads mean higher costs being passed on to the consumer, who have no choice but to pay the asking cost in order to feed their families. With that said. I'd love to challenge each politician, and the President himself, to live for no less than 90 days on the same minimum wage, they expect most Americans to live on [and be ever grateful to them for initiating on their behalf]. How long could they honestly live on the same minimum wage that they expect others to live on, and do it without incurring the hardships these minimum wage earners face day after day? Years ago, when I was a job developer for the State of California Department of Vocational Rehabiliatation, I was embarrassed to have to secure jobs for disabled employees at minimum wage, because even though I could obtain child care and some other benefits to help them meet additional needs; I knew it would take at least four to five times as much as the minimum wage for them to live a descent life. It was actually financially advantageous for these folks to remain on SSDI, SSI, or welfare then to return to work. I trust that things are not much different today. So before the leaders of this nation decide to vote on $9.00 an hour for minimum wage, let them first try to live on that wage and to sustain some semblance of life on that wage before they begin to pat themselves on the back and say well done, we've helped these folks move higher up on the ladder of earning. It would take at least, $24.00 an hour for a family of four to make a living that keeps them above the poverty line, and capable of meeting the little emergencies and extra needs that life brings their way [i.e., car repairs, sickness, new clothes, club dues for children, having any kind of decent hobby or pastime, a family vacation]. Nine dollars an hour will not go far if a person wants to visit Disneyland this year. Disney announced that their gate ticket is $125.00 per person this year. If a wage earner and his spouse headed to Disneyland for the day [assumng they left their two toddlers with a family member to avoid babysitting costs of around four dollars an hour] at the park, once they paid for gas to get them there, parking, admission, food and a souvenir, they may blow more than weeks pay for a day of fun, and they'd still have to live the remainder of the month on what is left over on three weeks of minimum wage pay to pay for rent, utilities, food, gas [to get to and from work] and any unexpected emergencies that almost always arise in life. There are no politians, who could live at that end of the pay scale for week, let alone 90 days, without realizing the American worker is still underpaid. I believe that those who lead our nation are living in a Nirvana like bubble, drinking funky koolaid, and not in touch with reality. If they were, Obamacare, amnesty, gay rights/marriage, and wars would go to the back of the line, and the life-style of the American worker would take precedence over these other issues, and we'd see America getting back on the track to being a nation with a solid middle class, able to pay its bills, and not so dependent on China for loans that will take a century to repay.