New U.S. Census data for 2014 shows that 46 million Americans were living in poverty, including more than 15 million children. Yet, lawmakers in Congress seem more concerned about enacting new and costly tax breaks for business and the wealthy, rather than focusing on critical tax policies that help working Americans make ends meet.
Fortunately, the new Census data also gives us hope. It shows that in 2014, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted 9.8 million Americans out of poverty, including 5.2 million children. The EITC and CTC are pro-work tax credits that have been shown to improve the health and well-being of children. Yet, critical improvements to these credits will expire soon, forcing millions of Americans into poverty or deeper into poverty.
Congress must put working families first. I urge our representatives and senators to work to save the 2009 provisions of the EITC and CTC. They should make them permanent now, before it’s too late and millions of working families suffer.
Alexander King, Livonia. Sept. 24, 2015 — Detroit Free Press