Tax Credits Notably Absent from Presidential Campaign Policy Plans

By Kate Skochdopole

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most discussed and widely supported policies in Congress. So why do the two presumptive presidential nominees have little or nothing to say about the EITC or similar tax credits?

So far, Donald J. Trump (R) and former Secretary of State and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) have not announced specific policy positions on any tax credits for working families. Although as a senator, Clinton voted in favor of the EITC and has hinted that she would support expansions of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), she has yet to announce concrete plans for how she would use the tax code to help working families make ends meet. Trump’s tax plan makes no mention of tax credits like the EITC, CDCTC or Child Tax Credit (CTC).

The campaigns’ silence on the issue comes at a time when tax credits for working families seem to be one of few things lawmakers in Washington can agree on. President Obama (D) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) have both expressed support for expanding the EITC for low-wage individuals without children – the lone demographic that is actually pushed further into poverty by the federal tax code.

Last week, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) voiced his support for expanding the EITC for childless workers and lowering the eligibility age from 25 to 21. Brown also reiterated his support for allowing low-income families to receive a portion of their EITC in advance payments. And House Republicans came out in favor of the EITC in the “A Better Way” plan to reduce poverty last week, suggesting that they would support expanding the credit.

TCWF has reached out to both the Trump and Clinton campaigns for answers about their policy proposals on tax credits for working families. Neither campaign responded to our requests. As the conventions draw closer and the campaign season continues, follow @TaxCreditsWF on Twitter for updates on the candidates and their plans to reduce poverty.