Just a brief addendum to my post the other day about the disingenuous lie that 47% pay no income tax. As Derek Thompson of The Atlantic points out, poor people owe taxes, but they are offset by the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
When Republicans rail against the 47% figure, they’re railing against features like the EITC. What is the EITC? It’s a refundable tax credit that rewards work and offsets the burden of payroll taxes for low-income payers by returning a fixed percent of income up to a maximum credit based on factors like number of children. But the EITC is a Republican creation. It was enacted in 1975 under President Ford (a Republican), and expanded numerous times over the last 35 years by Republicans. President Reagan (Republican) expanded it in 1984 and 1986. President Bush (Republican) expanded it against in 1990 and added supplemental credit for families with more than one child. President Clinton expanded it for childless claimants in 1993. President Bush (Republican) expanded it again in 2001.
So what we have is a program developed by Republicans to encourage welfare recipients to work instead. When it succeeds, the GOP then pivots in its arguments and claims these very same people are cheating the government and are prime examples of “socialism.” If it weren’t so cynical, it would be brilliant.