Tax Credit Proposal Has Bipartisan Appeal

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's search for bipartisan achievement in a divided Congress may find common ground with his proposal to expand the earned-income tax credit to childless workers. The president's plan would broaden benefits that now mainly go to low-income working parents.

The program has support across a broad spectrum of policy analysts, prompting both liberal and conservative economists to embrace it.

The federal tax credit goes to low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Provided as a tax refund, it is intended to be an incentive to find work and to help offset Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Though childless workers are eligible, the largest part of the credit benefits families.

The idea of expanding the program was the only new legislative proposal in Obama's State of the Union.


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama wants to expand of the earned-income tax credit, which helps boost the wages of low-income families through tax refunds.

Obama wants Congress to increase the credit for workers without children.

White House officials note that some Republicans and conservative economists have called for similar expansion of the tax credit or, as in the case of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, for a new federal wage supplement for certain low-income workers.

Republicans see a broader income tax credit as an alternative to increasing the minimum wage. Obama also wants an increase in the minimum wage.

The White House says the tax credit encourages work and helps reduce poverty.

Obama called for the tax credit expansion Tuesday in his State of the Union address.