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January 2, 2013

Letter: Tax credits keep Americans out of poverty

To the editor:

I am writing in response to your coverage of the budget showdown in Washington. The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest poverty report shows that in 2011, 46 million Americans lived in poverty, including more than one in four children under age 5. It is a tragedy that in a country as blessed and as wealthy as ours, nearly 1 in 7 of our fellow Americans struggle to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

Fortunately, we have tools to make things better. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are very effective at poverty reduction. In 2011, these credits lifted 8.7 million people out of poverty, more than half of them children. Child-care workers, firemen, police officers, and even military personnel benefit from these credits, which have until recently enjoyed broad bipartisan support. Unfortunately, key improvements to these credits may expire in December and if House leadership get its way, these credits would see even deeper cuts — while millionaires and billionaires get more tax cuts. The result is simple — more children and families in poverty.

I urge our congressional delegation to put working families first. Don’t raise taxes on the poor and middle class. Protect and extend the current EITC and CTC.

Bill Deignan

Tewksbury

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