September 2014 U.S. Poverty Action
Building a Media Groundswell to Protect and Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit
On September 16, the Census Bureau will release its latest income and poverty data, likely showing that about one in seven Americans still lives below the poverty line. Meanwhile, important provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit (CTC) — some of the country’s most effective anti-poverty strategies – are set to expire if Congress doesn’t act. This month we’ll focus on generating editorials about the need to address poverty in America and why policymakers should support specific tax policies to protect and expand the EITC and CTC to shape upcoming policy debates.
Steps to Generate an Editorial in Your Local Paper
Here are the steps you can take to generate an editorial in your local newspaper:
Note: To find contact information for media outlets in your area, including telephone numbers and addresses, visit our Media Guide at http://capwiz.com/results/dbq/media/. In addition, see our Activist Toolkit pieces on generating an editorial in your local paper. If others in your RESULTS group are taking the lead in generating editorials, we urge you to use these talking points to submit an op-ed or write a letter to the editor (you can use our template) to your local papers. Be sure to send your published pieces to your members of Congress!
Background: House Passes Tax Legislation that Benefits Wealthier Families, Leaves Cold Families Out in the Cold
On July the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4935, which would expand the Child Tax Credit (CTC) so that upper-income taxpayers could claim it, while also cutting 5.5 million children of immigrant parents – 4.5 million of which are U.S. citizens – off the CTC. The vote was 237-173. It is bad enough that the House would cut the CTC for millions of low-income children while giving wealthy families another tax cut, but it doesn’t stop there. H.R. 4935 also completely ignores the critical improvements to the CTC (and the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC) for low-income families passed in 2009 which will expire in 2017. Here’s how messed up these priorities are, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
- As a result, a married couple with two children making $160,000 a year would receive a new tax cut of $2,200 in 2018 under the bill. But a single mother with two children who works full time throughout the year at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (which House leaders oppose raising) and earns just $14,500 would lose $1,725. Her CTC would disappear altogether.
Hundreds of RESULTS volunteers called their members of Congress and mobilized others, and have already met with almost 100 members of Congress, reiterating our support for the CTC and EITC for low-income families. These actions demonstrated powerful support for tax credits for low-income working families. However, we must keep on sending a strong message to policymakers that they should prioritize tax policies that foster economic mobility in final negotiations over tax legislation after the November election.
On the September 2014 RESULTS National Conference Call, we’ll hear from guest speaker Inez Russell Gomez, an editorial writer at the Santa Fe New Mexican and winner of the 2014 Cameron Duncan media award. Inez will share with us her insider perspective on working with local editorial boards. This will be a helpful and informative call – please plan to join us. The call is Saturday, September 13, at 12:30 pm ET. To participate, call (888) 409-6709 by 12:27 pm ET.
In addition, RESULTS is offering two webinars this month on generating media around the U.S. Census release of its 2013 U.S. poverty data:
- On Monday, September 8 at 8:00pm ET, RESULTS will host a Media Training webinar. On this webinar, the RESULTS Media Support Team will talk about best practices for reaching out to local editorial boards and working with editors to get the EITC and CTC into their coverage of the new poverty data. Register for the webinar TODAY at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028546.
- On Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00pm ET, RESULTS will host a 2013 Poverty Data Webinar. On this webinar, we will review the data from the U.S. Census, which will have been released earlier that day. We’ll also talk about how to use the information with local editorial writers and what to expect from future data releases later in September. Register for the webinar TODAY at: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/webinar/register/1028550.