Community Organizing

Tax Credits for Poor Workers

            St. Petersburg             Talking about citizen wealth yesterday (and, yes, I’m fixated on this subject, because it’s also the subject of my book coming out this June, called:  Citizen Wealth:  The Campaign to Save Working Families, it seems when Obama came courting to Washington on Monday, he also threw out a big sweet treat for poor workers’ and their families — for a change!  Even better, the proposal he floated would be a direct income subsidy to the poorest of working families.

            The bottom line is that the almost-President’s people floated a proposed tax change that would allow families to claim at least some of the $1000 per child tax credit, even when they earn too little to pay income taxes.  Such a proposal would expand access to this child care tax credit for the first time to an additional 5.5 million lower income kids.  This is a program that could make a huge difference in real impact and real money. 

            Right now a household must earn $12,500 a year to be able to claim any of the child tax credit.  The Obamistas are talking about lowering that benchmark, possibly to $3000.  Right now, if a family makes $5000 a year they get squat, nada, zero.  Under this proposal at $3000 they would get direct cash transfer of $300.  Not huge money, but money that could make a huge difference.

            Price tag:  $18 billion.

            These days that hardly equals bonus money on government-owned banks on Wall Street.  I think they might even call the program:  chump change for children.  Hey, it’s a good start.  Dare we hope?  For more!