Senators Who Vote Against the Stimulus Are Opposing Significant Tax Cuts for Families with Children
New state facts sheets from Citizens for Tax Justice show that the economic stimulus proposals being considered by Congress include several tax cuts that could significantly benefit working class families with children in every state. The stimulus bill approved by the House of Representatives last week costs a little over $800 billion and about $275 billion of that would go towards tax cuts.
About half of the tax cut portion of the bill consists of a refundable "Making Work Pay Credit" (MWPC) worth up to $500 for most working people (or $1,000 for married couples). The House bill also includes an expansion in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and a provision making the Child Tax Credit (CTC) more accessible to low-income families. All three of these provisions would create or expand refundable income tax credits, which are the only type of income tax cut that can benefit parents who work and pay federal payroll taxes but do not earn enough to owe federal income taxes.
Refundable credits can allow a family of modest means to have negative income tax liability, meaning the IRS actually sends them a check instead of taking a tax payment from them. This check can be thought of as a way to offset the federal payroll taxes and other types of taxes that working families pay.
The stimulus bill that the Senate is considering this week also includes the MWPC and EITC provisions. It also includes a provision that will make the CTC more accessible to low-income families, but which will not reach as many families as the CTC change in the House bill.
In many states, families with children would receive about $900 to $1,000 in tax cuts from the stimulus proposals.
Senators should support the stimulus bill they are considering this week because, overall, it would provide the boost that the economy needs right now. If the Senate does pass its bill, then a House-Senate conference will likely spend next week working out the differences between the House and Senate versions, and there will hopefully be opportunities to ask conferees to make wise choices. For example, if the Senate version of the bill still includes the less generous expansion of the Child Tax Credit, hopefully conferees will choose to include in the final bill the more generous CTC change approved by the House.
Progressive organizations are distributing the following information to help constituents contact their Senators and urge them to support the stimulus bill being considered in the Senate this week.
The following toll-free number can be used right now to reach the U.S. Capitol, where an operator will connect you to your Senators:
Progressive organizations have suggested the following message to Senators: Please vote for the economic recovery bill and oppose delaying tactics. Our state needs the jobs that will be saved; our people need its protections against hunger, sickness and unemployment. We need to rebuild our schools and roads. Vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009!