After multiple negotiations, the House of Representatives is now considering what the press is calling a “scaled down” tax package. Scaled down in the sense that the proposed legislation no longer includes over $400 billion in tax breaks to wealthy corporations, including tax breaks to race horse owners and improvements at NASCAR tracks.
But this package still doesn’t have much to offer to working families struggling to get by. Thousands of MomsRising members have reached out to their members of Congress asking that they take action on the current Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit programs so they don’t expire. If current provisions to these important tax programs expire nearly 16 million people—including 8 million children and many military families—will be pushed into poverty and tens of millions more families will struggle to pay their bills.
Moms and dads across the country know how vital the EITC and Child Tax Credit is to their families. Here are a few of their stories:
“Every year we look forward to doing our taxes because it allows us to give our children the opportunity for something new. We cannot afford very many Christmas presents at Christmas so with our return, which is only possible because of the children, we buy them something that they have wanted all year. With the rest of the money we fix our car, repair the house and make things better for our children. Honestly it's the only way we make it through the year. We struggle every week to provide and according to the state, my husband makes enough to support us but we live paycheck to paycheck and still run out of money for food. We don't live an extravagant lifestyle. We own 2 cars both over 10 years old and we rent. It's never enough.”-Christa, Huntington Beach, California
“My husband and I both work full time with ‘good’ salaries. I have a master's degree and both my husband and I have almost 20 years each of professional experience. Yet with two children we can barely afford to send them to day care and we are required to work opposite schedules so that we actually never see one another in order to take care of our children as cheaply as possible. These tax credits help us pay our bills. We keep our tax returns in a savings account and dip into it throughout the year to literally make ends meet. Without those tax credits we would be in serious financial stress.”-Erin
“My son has multiple special needs including Tourette's Syndrome, OCD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and speech and learning differences. My daughter has a significant speech delay. There are so many things that help them but are not considered medical, so not paid for by medical insurance. Books of relaxation scripts I read to my son, picture books that inspire my daughter to talk more, toys that they use for dramatic play to practice their social speech, various behavior management tools, a supplement that has helped my son with his tics. They all seem obvious, something any good mom would provide. And a couple years ago, when we had a better income, we did. But now that we're barely getting by, it's impossible to come up with the money in our regular budget. Now every year I can't wait for our tax return! We use some of the money to pay off debt or take care of needed repairs, but some of the money is set aside to provide these "extras" for my children. My kids are as special and important to me as other kids are to moms who have lots of money. I want to make sure that I give my children the best chance at a bright future, even though we're currently struggling financially. I'm grateful for the tax credits that let me do this for them in a small, but crucial, way.”-Robin, Englewood, Colorado
“My single mother who worked 40+ hours a week as a court bailiff and earned less than $20K a year in salary, depended on the EITC to raise my sister and me. Today I am earning six figures as a product marketing manager at a huge software company in Silicon Valley. The EITC keeps families afloat and is a hope for our nation.”- Meghan, Oakland, California
“As a single parent, working to make a small business successful in a struggling economy, I can sincerely say that the EITC and CTC are critical to me and my family. Without these tax breaks, I would be losing several thousand much needed dollars each year. What amounts to nothing more than another vacation or shopping spree for the wealthy or a tiny business expense to a big corporation, is literally food, care and other necessities for my child! These tax credits are just enough to keep us from dropping under the poverty line and we really would be living hand-to-mouth without them. These "working-class" tax credits make fiscal sense in supporting those in the middle-class and low-income tax brackets. In turn, the money that these families save in the EITC and CTC is rolled right back into supporting their local economy. Could we please move to put the working middle-class back on the economic map for a change?”-Ann
“I have recently become an Enrolled Agent/tax preparer, and I have qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit for the past few years. As a divorced mother with two kids, I worked part time so I didn't have to find and pay for childcare. The EITC provided necessary funds for dental care, tires and service on my car, and new shoes. I witness every year who receives benefits from the EITC, and hear stories of how the money makes needed improvements, basic needs, in many families lives. Corporations make money and should be taxed. Families are making our collective futures and need to be valued. The little bump of the EITC shows the national spirit of valuing families.”- Kirstin, Santa Cruz, California
“I am a mother of two. I was the primary wage earner for our family after my husband was injured. Thanks to the Earned Income Tax Credit returns I was able to get my children the things they needed that my regular pay checks did not cover.”-Pamela, Tucson, Arizona
“While I was raising my children as a single mom (dad had disappeared) and working, I was having a very hard time making rent, let alone extras like beds. With my EITC I was able to get my children beds and warm clothes, put some used tires on the car, and pay the insurance for the car so I was able to get to work while taking them to school and to child care. I didn't buy a new anything. But without my EITC I wouldn't be able to get them anything. Paying for childcare took half my paycheck. But that was ok. It showed my children to work for a living.”- Judy, Camarillo, California
Do you have your own experience with the EITC and Child Tax Credit? MomsRising would love to hear from you. Share your experiences here: https://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/has-the-earned-income-tax-credit-eitc-or-child-tax-credit-ctc-helped-your-family/
Take an extra minute and write your members of Congress and tell them to protect, support, and strengthen the EITC and Child Tax Credit: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/EITCChildTaxCredit/