2010 Campaign Laser Talk: The Child Tax Credit

Extend Child Tax Credit Changes to Keep Children Out of Poverty!

Recent Improvements to the Child Tax Credit are helping low-income families make ends meet. Yet these changes will expire at the end of this year, which could result in 600,000 children falling into poverty.

The Child Tax Credit or CTC is a partially refundable tax credit for families raising children. For low-income families, this means that they can get a partial refund check from the IRS if their Child Tax Credit is more than the taxes they owe. However, until recently, families making less than $12,000 per year were not allowed to claim the credit. In 2008 and 2009, Congress lowered this income threshold to $3,000, which has benefitted 26 million low-income children and their families. However, these changes will expire at the end of 2010. If they do, 7.6 million children in low-income families will lose the CTC and 600,000 children will fall back into poverty. It is wrong to cut these families off at the knees just as they are getting on their feet.

I urge you to protect these families. Will you please work with House and Senate leadership to at the very least make the 2009 Child Tax Credit levels permanent? But let’s not stop there. Let’s build on the success of the CTC and reduce the income threshold all the way to zero and make the CTC fully refundable, like the Earned Income Tax Credit. This will ensure that all low-income families benefit from this important poverty-reduction tool.

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 and our Health Care for All campaign page.