April 2010 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk

Support Working Families By Making EITC and CTC Changes Permanent

Engage: Recent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are helping 7 million low-income children and adults make ends meet. As a result of these changes, 3 million of them have been kept out of poverty.

Problem: Unfortunately, these changes are set to expire at the end of this year, sending 600,000 children back into poverty.

Inform/Illustrate: The EITC and CTC are critical tools in encouraging work and reducing poverty, by helping working families supplement their income with tax refunds. In 2009, Congress expanded these benefits as part of the economic recovery bill, which have provided a tremendous economic boost to low-income family budgets. For example, a family with two children and one parent working a full-time minimum wage job currently receives a Child Tax Credit of $1725. But if the CTC expansion expires, their credit drops to $248, a loss of nearly $1500. In Iowa alone, 170,000 children would lose or get a reduced credit.

Call to Action: We need to support hard-working, low-income families, not hurt them. Will you work with your colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee/Senate Finance Committee to make the EITC and CTC expansions permanent in any 2010 tax legislation?

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 Economic Opportunity campaign page.