The push to increase minimum wages – at the federal as well as local and state levels – has always begged the question as to the cost in economic terms of mandating increases. Well, it appears that the Congressional Budget Office has answered the question – $48 billion per year – at least as relates Virginia Representative Bobby Scott’s Raise the Wage Act (HR 582). The CBO, the non-partisan financial office that regularly analyzes budgetary and economic issues in government at the federal level, reports that a $15/hour minimum wage, phased in over a five year period and subsequently indexed to inflation to determine future increases would cost American businesses $48 billion a year! Further, the CBO reported that such an increase would have state and local government paying workers an additional $3 billion annually!