President Barack Obama plans to use his authority to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers from $7.25 an hour to a whopping $10.10.

No one's going to get rich on their new wages, but at least full-time workers won't be living in poverty. Rather than earning $15,000 a year, they'll be pulling in $21,000.

Again, not much.

But it could be the difference between people having to supplement their income with food stamps or other public assistance and making it on their own.

That should be right up the GOP's alley.

So why are so many Republicans opposed to following the president's lead and raising the federal minimum wage for all Americans?

Because, House Speaker John Boehner claims, giving the lowest-earning Americans a few bucks more an hour will stifle employment.

"When it comes to the federal minimum wage — listen, I used to be an employee — when you raise the cost of something, you get less of it," the Ohio Republican said. "And we know from increases in the minimum wage in the past that hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans have lost their jobs."

However, The Fact Checker at The Washington Post points out not all economists share that view. In fact, author Glenn Kessler wrote, "economists remain sharply divided about the issue."

Obama and Democrats calling for a nationwide pay hike take the opposite view — that the increase actually would spur job growth.


Unlike wealthier Americans, lower income workers tend to spend rather than save (it's called living paycheck to paycheck) so those extra few dollars per hour will go right back into the economy. Consumers create demand, suppliers create jobs.

It makes sense to us.

The fact is while much of this country was scraping by in the aftermath of the Great Recession, corporate America was reaping record profits on the backs of low-paid workers.

Goldman Sachs chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius confirmed that in a report released last week.

"In our view, the strength is directly related to the weakness in hourly wages," he wrote. "These are impressive numbers ..,"

They certainly are.

And it's time to give back to the workers that made them possible.