Obama Is Testing Paul Ryan’s Commitment to Fighting Poverty, and Ryan Is Failing Badly
One of the most encouraging economic policy developments of the past few years has been Republicans’ newfound love of tax breaks for low-income people. Paul Ryan made an Earned Income Tax Credit expansion the centerpiece of his anti-poverty plan, and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has championed a tax reform proposal greatly increasing the Child Tax Credit, which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has signed onto as well. Together, the EITC and CTC lifted about 10.1 million people out of poverty in 2012.
But these anti-poverty tax breaks are now in danger. Expansions to both credits are set to expire in 2017, and a deal to extend corporate tax breaks worked out by Republican House Ways and Means chair Dave Camp and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wouldn’t have made the low-income tax breaks permanent. That prompted an Obama administration veto threat.