Don’t lose focus on poverty statistics

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To the Editor;
As hard as it is to look away from impeachment drama, I hope Mainers will consider the latest numbers from the U.S. Census, showing that 13 percent of Americans live below the poverty line. In Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, the statistic is worse: nearly 15 percent of the population lives in poverty.

At the same time, economic inequality is the worst it’s been in 50 years. This is in large part due to changes in the tax code that Congress passed in 2017. Business owners and investors have gotten huge payouts while regular working people got minimal benefits.

As Congress considers another tax bill this fall, benefits to businesses should take a backseat to helping working families. I urge Maine’s congressional delegation to champion and increase two tax provisions that have traditionally had support on both sides of the aisle: the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The CTC and the EITC give low-wage workers a small but necessary foothold to at least try to escape grinding poverty. It’s time for a tax bill that helps working Americans make ends meet before it dumps more cash in corporate bank accounts.

Alison Hall

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