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The Many Strengths of the EITC – and Relevant Policy Priorities for 2012

2012 EITC Paper

Yesterday, NCTC released "The EITC: Good for our Families, Communities and Economy."

This is the final installment of our week-long series on the Earned Income Tax Credit to celebrate EITC Awareness Day today. We hope you enjoyed it!

The many strengths of the EITC – and relevant policy priorities for 2012

The Earned Income Tax Credit is probably best known for boosting working families’ earnings and lifting about 6 million households from poverty every year.  But as a new paper from the National Community Tax Coalition notes, extensive studies demonstrate that the credit’s values also extend to strengthening:

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EITC Success Undeniable, but Battles Left to be Fought

EITC Infographic

The Center for American Progress estimates the EITC kept 6 million people out of poverty in 2010, including 3 million children

This post is part of our week-long series on the Earned Income Tax Credit to celebrate EITC Awareness Day on Friday, January 27. Check back each day for a new post!

By any measure, poverty rates have climbed over the last decade, highlighting the increasing number of individuals that are joining the millions of Americans already living without the proper resources to support their families. What these same measures have often hidden are the effects of our most valuable public assistance and anti-poverty programs on keeping families from falling into poverty altogether.

In a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analyzing the effects of anti-poverty programs under an alternative poverty measure adopting recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, the combined effects of six enhancements to federal anti-poverty programs found in the 2009 Recovery Act worked to keep 6.9 million people above the poverty line. Read the rest of this entry

A Brief History of the EITC

Gerald Ford

The EITC was established by the Ford Administration in 1975.

This post is part of our week-long series on the Earned Income Tax Credit to celebrate EITC Awareness Day on Friday, January 27. Check back each day for a new post!

From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, there was a great deal of discussion in Washington over the appropriate design for poverty reduction and reformation. The EITC was established amidst political debate over the Negative Income Tax (NIT)—a government guaranteed minimum level of income and the Office of Economic Opportunity’s answer to ending national poverty.

The appeal of the NIT was that there was no need for additional bureaucracy to determine eligibility. Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, however, opposed the NIT in 1966 with no hesitation. He felt the initiative did little to encourage recipients in finding work. Read the rest of this entry