Broadening Tax Credits To Aid Working Families

A credit to enhance income security for both low-income families could broaden the political constituency for investments in working families.
September 2, 2003, 12pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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In a policy environment averse to direct spending on programs dedicated to income support, a variety of federal tax credits have emerged as key vehicles for providing assistance to low-to-moderate income families. Indeed, the two largest individual income tax credits—the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC)—will represent over $75 billion in tax expenditures in 2003. Looking for ways to expand the constituency for tax credits to include more "working families" with low-to-middle incomes, this paper reviews the current regime of tax credits, their design, and the political dynamics behind their appeal.

Thanks to Elena Sheridan

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Published on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 in The Brookings Institution
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