As a nurse practitioner, I have seen the difficulties low-income working Americans can have even in affording the gas required to GET to their jobs, and their difficulty having adequate diets to manage diabetes and heart disease. Here we go again. Congress is once again looking to enrich corporate America while ignoring the needs of struggling families. If you remember, in early 2013 Congress passed the so-called “fiscal cliff” tax cut. It made tax cuts for the wealthy and middle class permanent but tax cuts for low-income working Americans — specifically, improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) — were merely extended until 2017. If they expire, 12 million Americans, including seven million children, will fall into poverty or deeper into poverty.
Now, the House has passed another $300 billion tax giveaway to corporations, all of which will be added to the deficit. Is there language in this bill making the EITC and CTC improvements permanent? No, of course not. Many who voted for this new tax cut are the same people who repeatedly use deficit concerns to oppose funding anti-poverty programs. I guess for Congress, the deficit only matters when you’re poor.
I urge Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell to oppose this tax bill and instead make the EITC and CTC improvements permanent and work toward a goal of ending poverty in America by 2030.
CATHERINE CANTWELL LURISA, NP