The Importance of the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits

Working with Results ( to get involved) has been fufilling.  Being that I am a parent in a low income family scenario that is not lazy and just chooses not to work which is often the perception, but, this is not the case, Results lets me know that I am not alone fighting the fights that I often fight in my home state of South Carolina.  This is the thought process for many people around the country, that the poor encompass just those that do not want to work and just want government benefits.  Many people do not think about the people that are working poor, that are now the middle class poor, and are people that are just not being hired because they are “overqualified”.  Many people like me that work part-time to attempt to try to make ends meet for their families, depend on their child tax credit and their earned income tax credit which was created by Congress in 1975(before I was born) to offset the cost of the burden of social security taxes and provides an incentive for people to work.  Ronald Reagan was a strong supporter of the earned income tax credit and he did not have a problem with these credits during his administration.  The Reagan administration estimated that the 1986 tax code would take 6 million working poor from the tax rolls.  Reagan called this “a sweeping victory for fairness” and he also  stated that “perhaps the biggest antipoverty program in history”.  The EITC according to the Center for American Progress was “responsible for declines in poverty and significant economic gains during the 1990’s…”.

As we sit and talk deficits and tax cuts and ending tax cuts, we as American’s must think about what this could and would do to families like mine that try our hardest to support our children the best way we know how and often take on part time jobs to do it.  We do the best that we can and many of these families work for employers that do not pay more than minimum wage or offer benefits.  They are doing all that they can to make ends meet and the EITC helps bolster that.  The reality is that many American’s that do not qualify are going to be the ones that are going to balk at this thought process.  My friends, if you don’t qualify for this, I’m quite sure that you know a family that does and depends on this money and puts this money back into the economy.  You yourself one day could need these tax benefits, but of course as American’s we do not look very much to what could happen in the future, we deal with the right now and feel that we are safe and secure in the right now and are in self preservation mode and often worried about things that do not affect us or that are just the top layer of a larger problem.

So what can you do to help these families?  What can you do for families like mine?  What can you do for those of you that are single and benefit from these tax credits, you can call your federal legislator.  If you don’t know their name, go to your state Government’s website and find your legislator that way.  For me in South Carolina it is  Seek them out, call them and leave a message (see number and script below for the Capitol switchboard).  Do what you can to help families like mine.  Call it an early Christmas present for myself and my kids and millions of others.  We in America can not turn our face away from poverty and for too long the American poor have been used as bargaining chips at the table as well as the Middle Class.  We as American’s need to make our voices heard every chance we get.  The election is one day but your vote is not the only part of the process that you need to take part in.  We as the majority, not the one percent, have to be empowered to make sure that our legislators hear us.  It does not all rest on the back of our President, it rest on the backs of our Congressional Leadership and they decide and have been deciding for years how our countries money is spent.  I will repeat that, It does not all rest on the back of our President, it rest on the backs of our Congressional Leadership and they decide and have been deciding for years how our money is spent.  The sooner we see this, the sooner we get to the crux of the problem in Washington, the sooner the news pundits have nothing to spin.  Pick up your phone, your home phone, cell phone, what have you, and give your Congressional Leader a call and say support these tax credits for people like my friend Yolanda with three kids or my Friend Tammy that lives two towns over and has struggled to find full time employment and has only managed to find part time work or my friend John and his wife Sue that do the best to make ends meet for themselves and their four kids whom went form middle class to working poor.  Help in the way you know how and use your voice.  If millionaires can get tax credits for their homes, large tax credits for their homes, why can’t the working poor, middle class poor, and middle class get tax credits?

Again, Results has been an eye opening, empowering reaffirmation of my advocacy for years, check out their website and look at the work that they do and get in on it.  Make your phone call today, I know that I will be making mine.

Phone number to the Capitol Switch board: 202-224-3121 (Call this number for your House Member and for your Senator so call for one then hang up and call for the other)

Simple Script: “My name is _________ and I am calling from ________________. I am calling in support of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which are critical in helping working parents support their families and stay out of poverty. I am very concerned that Congress will let much-needed improvements to the EITC and CTC expire at the end of this year, which will hurt ___________   low-income working families in our state. I am also concerned that Congress will cut the EITC and CTC as part of deficit reduction. I urge Sen./Rep. ___________ to work to make the expiring improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent and support a principle that specifically protects the EITC and CTC from cuts in any deficit reduction framework. Will you please give him/her that message?”

Thank you in advance!


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