To make sure low-income families are not forgotten in the tax debates, the Foundation hosted in 2012, two panel discussions with some of the leading tax policy analysts and researchers in the country. A panel was held in Washington, D.C. in July and the other in New Mexico in October.
Here is the full transcript of the panel discussion in New Mexico on October 17.
Analysis and Proposals for Reform
The EITC has become the nation’s largest federal program to support low-income working families. In 2003, it directly beneﬁted 19.6 million working families, at cost of $34 billion, and each year it is responsible for lifting millions of people, including more than 2 million children, out of poverty. It also provides an important incentive to work, increasing the effective wage for a single parent with one child by $1.25 an hour; a Treasury Department expert recently wrote that “the EITC encourages work, as well as alleviates poverty.” In addition to the federal EITC, seventeen states and the District of Columbia have adopted their own versions of the EITC, which “piggyback” on the federal EITC and thereby magnify its impact.
There is widespread agreement that the EITC is important and effective. However, even among its supporters, there are several key concerns about its current structure and operation.