Budget office: $15 wage would reduce poverty, increase debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds that increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would reduce the number of Americans living in poverty and boost wages for millions of people. It would also add to the national debt and joblessness. The office says the federal deficit would increase by about $54 billion over 10 years if the wage is gradually lifted. That’s largely because the higher wages paid to workers would contribute to an increase in federal spending. Democrats are pushing to include the $15 wage in their COVID-19 bill, but it’s unclear if it will make it in.