Ideas From The Right: Rep. Paul Ryan Proposes Increase to EITC for Childless Workers

This issue is the latest in our new commentary series, “Ideas From The Right: Conservative Approaches to Tax Credits for Working Families,” which highlights new proposals from conservative policymakers and thought leaders on how to improve tax incentives like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit. Ideas From The Right seeks to draw attention to the growing support for these credits at both the federal and state level while sparking discussion on the merits of different approaches and opportunities for consensus among conservatives and progressives. 

During a policy discussion at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) this morning, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a new plan to fight poverty and expand opportunity in America, which included increasing the federal EITC for childless workers and noncustodial parents.

Acknowledging the growing bipartisan endorsement of an EITC increase, Chairman Ryan stated:

“I want to throw my support behind a number of ideas that my colleagues in the House and Senate have put forward […] I’d do that by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers. This is one of the few programs that have shown results. It encourages people to work by increasing the rewards of work. And we all know that the more people we have in the work force, the more opportunity we’ll have in this country.”

The Chairman’s proposal is almost identical to that of the President – it would roughly double the maximum EITC for childless workers while lowering the eligibility age from 25 to 21. The difference between the two proposals, however; is how they would be paid for. While the President’s plan would be funded through cuts to tax breaks for corporations and higher-income individuals, Chairman Ryan’s plan would eliminate “ineffective programs and corporate welfare” to fund the credit increase.

Full details of the Chairman’s plan are available here.