Good news, bad news on minimum wage hike

The Congressional Budget Office issued its report on a proposed increase of the federal minimum wage on Tuesday, and while it had a lot of good news that the Obama administration will highlight, it also contained bad news that Republicans will wave about.

The report indicated that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift 900,000 wage earners out of poverty and increase wages for 16.5 million workers. It also indicated that it could cause businesses to eliminate 500,000 jobs.

No doubt there will be plenty of debate over the validity of these figures on both sides. But the CBO is widely respected for its realistic, non-partisan evaluations of these kinds of issues.

It will be difficult for Democrats who want to pass this wage increase to get it through Congress this year. Republicans are standing firm against the job-killing prospects of this proposal.

It is often pointed out that minimum wage jobs are entry-level jobs, the kind that give people the prospect of getting raises or advancing to better paying jobs.

Losing 500,000 jobs would slam 500,000 doors on people who are looking for a chance to get into the job market in the first place. Government should try to keep those doors open.

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