New data from the U.S. Census shows that in 2018, 38 million Americans were below the poverty line. Thirteen percent of Montanans are included in that number.
Sadly, the federal tax code is part of the problem. Currently, the code taxes more than 5 million low-wage workers not raising children at home into — or deeper into — poverty. And, millions of children in low-income families are left out of the full Child Tax Credit (CTC). Congress could have fixed these problems in the 2017 tax law but chose not to.
Congress is considering another tax bill this fall with lots of benefits for businesses. Workers and families must not be ignored again. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and CTC are pro-work, pro-family tax credits for people working in low-wage jobs. Together, they lifted 7.9 million Americans above the poverty line in 2018. Expanding the EITC and CTC would ensure our tax code supports low-income Americans struggling to make ends meet.
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I urge U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines, and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, to uphold the principle that no business tax breaks should be extended or expanded without also expanding the EITC and CTC in the same bill.