The time is now to protect federal working family credits

Added December 1st, 2015 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by family and friends and all the food and fixings you could hope for. But many Michigan families are still struggling and could soon be making due with close to $1,000 less in their family budgets if Congress doesn’t translate the rhetorical goodwill of the holiday season into actual action to help those in need.

I know I’ve been talking about this issue for several months, and I hope you are all already aware of why the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and low-income portion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are so important and why the expiring provisions of these credits should be made permanent. But the need is extremely urgent now.

Members of Congress have just returned to Washington, D.C. to wrap up the last few legislative items of 2015 before turning out the lights. We need to make sure that one of the things they take care of before they leave is making the EITC and CTC improvements permanent.

Congress is already looking to extend tax credits for businesses, and several congressional leaders want to make those credits permanent. If we want to have a lasting impact on the fate of the EITC and CTC, we have to include them as part of the same conversation.

Negotiations about the tax credits are happening NOW, and the clock is ticking to save the EITC and CTC provisions. They should get treated the same as tax credits for businesses, and this is the final message we must send to Washington.

Similarly, this is likely the best—and perhaps last—chance to expand the EITC for childless workers. Fixing this glaring hole in the EITC will help young workers and those without kids, including half a million veterans and military families. These childless taxpayers are currently the only group of people our country taxes into, or deeper into, poverty. Helping these workers has been a priority of both President Barack Obama and newly-elected House Speaker Paul Ryan, and hopefully this bipartisan interest will resonate throughout the Capitol.

From soldiers to farmers to single parents, the EITC and CTC are key tools to keeping Michigan residents working and helping them provide for themselves and their families. These credits have had strong bipartisan support in the past, and Congress should not squander this opportunity to permanently protect them. Please join me in thanking Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator Gary Peters for their support of these credits and ask them to continue that fight over these next few weeks. You can also contact your Congressman or Congresswoman in Washington and ask them to stand up for the people of Michigan and make the EITC and CTC provisions permanent.

— Gilda Z. Jacobs


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