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At the minimum, no miracles

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Go ahead, spin this. Raising the federal minimum wage by nearly 40 percent over two years, as the Obama administration proposes, would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and lower the income of thousands of families, said the Congressional Budget Office. Raising the federal minimum wage by nearly 40 percent would lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty, raise family income for millions, and boost business profits, said the Congressional Budget Office.

Yes, the CBO report issued with great fanfare Tuesday said all that. Raising the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10.10, the White House preference, might do good, and it might do bad, and probably both. It was not government doublespeak. It was merely an acknowledgement that there are two sides to the story, and the story is filled with complexity and nuance, and very learned people disagree on the possibilities. The Congressional Budget Office does not appear to be altering its findings to suit any faction among its partisan overseers, and that is good. The other message is, go ahead and listen to those political people who are telling you what you want to hear, and know there’s a really good chance they are wrong.

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