U.S. Poverty Laser Talk: Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit


September 23, 2014

Engage: I'd like to discuss with you a bipartisan proposal to address poverty that both House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Obama support. 

Problem: There is one group of workers that the tax code actually taxes into or deeper into poverty: low-wage workers without children. 

Inform: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are pro-work tax credits that lifted 9.8 million people out of poverty in 2014 – more than any other program except for Social Security. [Note: if you can add a short anecdote about the difference these tax credits have made for you or others you know, we strongly urge you to do so!] Speaker Ryan and President Obama have proposed to expand the EITC for low-wage workers who don’t claim dependents. This would benefit 13.5 million working Americans, including 1.5 million non-custodial parents. Additionally, it would lift 500,000 American workers out of poverty, and reduce the depth of poverty for another 10.1 million. 

Senate Call to Action: Will you speak and/or write directly to Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), urging them to help working Americans meet their basic needs by expanding the EITC for workers without children in the home?

House Call to Action: Will you speak and/or write directly to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Ways and Means Committee leaders Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Sander Levin (D-MI), urging them to help working Americans meet their basic needs by expanding the EITC for workers without children in the home? 

Updated: February 2016. 


What Is a Laser Talk?

A laser talk serves as a useful starting point for your advocacy work, whether as a talking points during a town hall meeting or as a primer for face-to-face meetings with candidates and elected officials. Follow up with more information and evidence supporting your points. And of course, adapt a laser talk to reflect your own experiences and why you care about the issue! For more on how to create your own laser talk, see the RESULTS Activist Toolkit: Create and Deliver Your EPIC Laser Talk.

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