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Biden's American Rescue Plan boosts working families with children, let's make that permanent

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Tucked into President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan are two provisions that, if made permanent, could bring more adults and parents into the workforce, cut the child poverty rate in half, and fulfill the promise that full-time work in America earns a good life. As an added bonus, there are elements that appeal broadly across the political spectrum.

The first piece is a modernization of a decades-old working wage tax dividend called the earned income tax credit, or EITC. Originally signed into law during the Ford Administration and first expanded under President Ronald Reagan, the EITC has been an essential tool to lift pay for working-wage families. The current tax credit now provides an extra $5,700 in income for a working parent with two children earning the equivalent of a $10 per hour full-time job. But until now, the tax credit has been exceptionally stingy for childless adults and the elderly. President Biden’s plan changes that. It boosts the tax credit, nearly tripling the amount adults without children can receive to about $1,500 while also expanding eligibility to low wage workers over 65 and receiving Social Security. 

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