Honor our abuelos’ legacy this July 4
I think a lot about my grandfathers at this time of year. Whether serving the U.S. as laborers, small business owners, or veterans of World War II and the Korean War, they both had an unwavering core belief that by working hard, you would be rewarded with opportunities to provide for your family.
As July 4 approaches, I am concerned that some members of Congress are not staying true to my abuelos’ values. Some have suggested allowing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to be eliminated for certain types of taxpayers. This plan is unsound and unjust. These credits lift 9.4 million people and five million children out of poverty, respectively. Working at NCLR, I have learned how these anti-poverty, pro-work credits have boosted employment for single mothers and educational achievement for children.
The proposed cuts to the EITC and CTC would greatly harm Latino families. Four million Latino families with nine million children would lose out on precious resources to pay the mortgage, start a business, or invest in their children’s education. Veterans would also be affected: more than 35,000 veteran families in Pennsylvania alone currently earn the EITC or CTC. To try balancing the federal budget on the wallets of working families and veterans is not the American way my grandfathers fought for.
Another proposal in Congress is to deny the Child Tax Credit to families that file their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This proposal reminds me of my grandfathers’ heartbreaking stories of being treated like second-class soldiers in the military due to their ethnicity. How American is denying children, most of whom are U.S. citizens, resources that can be used for basic needs such as education and health care? We can’t allow unfairness on any level of our modern society.
As we enjoy the July 4 weekend, let’s recommit to urging federal officials to support tax policies that help working families and those who have sacrificed most for our freedom. Preserving and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit is the American thing to do.
Rafael Collazo is director of Political Campaigns at NCLR.