The President’s EITC Proposal Would Cover All Childless Workers

On Tuesday night, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama proposed an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion to go along with his minimum wage proposal, in what is being referred to as “the only new legislative proposal” from his State of the Union Address.

He said:

“There are other steps we can take to help families make ends meet, and few are more effective at reducing inequality and helping families pull themselves up through hard work than the Earned Income Tax Credit.  Right now, it helps about half of all parents at some point.  But I agree with Republicans like Senator Rubio that it doesn’t do enough for single workers who don’t have kids.  So let’s work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, and help more Americans get ahead.”

The proposal is the latest in the President’s broad package aimed at expanding opportunity for lower-income individuals through efforts like increasing the federal minimum wage and providing new savings options for retirement.

While the president referred only to single workers, Lauren Pescatore of Tax Credits for Working Families was able to confirm with Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, that the president’s proposal includes all childless workers, whether single or married.

Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs for the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, tells us:

“The specific details of President Obama’s proposal to increase the EITC for childless workers will become clear when he releases his budget on March 4th.   Bipartisan interest in assisting low-income childless workers has recently grown given the focus on the War on the Poverty.   The timetable and legislative path is not yet clear, but with more public support and pressure on Congress to act, the hope is that the House and Senate will actively consider legislation to expand the EITC for childless workers.”