We retired Tax Justice Blog in April 2017. For new content on issues related to tax justice, go to www.justtaxesblog.org
Being a member of the working poor has never been easy, but these past few years have been particularly tough on working families who must contend with increasing health care costs, high unemployment, food inflation and high gas prices, among other things. This makes now an ideal time for policymakers to work together to make it a little easier for families to make ends meet.
But Iowa Governor Branstad appears to be moving in the opposite direction. Exhibit A is his veto last week of a minor increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This credit has received bi-partisan support for decades because of its unique ability to lift working families out of poverty. It is smart, targeted policy that everyone can get behind.
But the Governor couldn’t find his way clear to increase Iowa’s EITC credit from seven to ten percent of the federal credit; and with 15 percent being the national average, ten is not even particularly generous. For now, Branstad says he is most interested in “reducing those taxes that are impeding our state’s ability to compete for new business and jobs.” Yet another governor who’s been drinking the Chris Christie kool aid.
This may be one of the worst cases we’ve seen of kicking them while they’re down. We share the sentiments of the Iowa Fiscal Partnership when they write the veto “hurts working people and the economy.”
Photo via Gage Skidmore Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0