The Earned Income Tax Credit

This proposal would increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers. The consensus among independent economists is that in most cases the EITC encourages low-income families to work by increasing work’s rewards, making it one of the federal government’s most effective anti-poverty programs.

Since the recent recession, labor-force participation has fallen among young men and women with low-income. Increasing their labor-force participation could reduce unemployment rates, increase marriage rates, and reduce incarceration rates. 

  • Increasing Work’s Rewards: This proposal would approximately double the amount of the childless EITC (for a maximum of $1,005) and reduce the minimum eligibility age from 25 to 21. It also would double the phase-in and phase-out rates.

The Childless EITC

To pay for this expansion, this proposal would reduce or eliminate spending on programs that are less effective—such as the Social Service Block Grant—and would reduce fraud and improper payments by requiring the use of a Social Security Number to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit.

In addition, this proposal would eliminate corporate welfare, such as export-assistance programs, energy subsidies, and agricultural subsidies. In all these cases, special interests reap the benefits while the taxpayer picks up the tab. Our goal should be to assist the most vulnerable in our country, not the most powerful in Washington.

Poverty is a very complex problem, and Washington doesn’t have all the answers. This proposal is not meant to serve as the final word, but to start a conversation all across the country. Anyone with questions or comments about this proposal can contact the committee at ExpandingOpportunity@mail.house.gov.

By opening up the debate, we hope to help the best ideas prevail and to empower our communities to expand opportunity in America.