WASHINGTON—As they consider legislation that addresses deficits and spending, Congress should extend "tax credits that help low-income families live in dignity," said the bishop who chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
"Poverty in this country is historically high and growing. Currently over 46 million Americans live in poverty; over 16 million of them are children. In America today, the younger a person is, the more likely they are to live in poverty," wrote Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California in a July 25 letter to Congress. "Low-income tax credits are pro-work, pro-family, and some of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation."
Bishop Blaire noted that the Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable Child Tax Credit "lift millions of American families out of poverty and help them live in dignity and with greater economic security."
Reiterating a point from earlier letters to Congress, he said that a just framework for spending cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons and that it would be unjust not to renew tax cuts for the working poor while addressing tax cuts for middle class and wealthy Americans. He asked that Congress "maintain and strengthen the bi-partisan commitment to assist those working families who struggle the most in these difficult economic times."
"I urge you to protect low-income tax credits that help American workers escape poverty and raise their children in dignity," Bishop Blaire wrote.
The full text of Bishop Blaire's letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/letter-on-tax-credits-senate-2012-07-25.pdf
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Congress, budget, deficits, debt, renew, vote, cut, disproportionate, bi-partisan, economy, working poor, Earned Income Tax Credit, refundable Child Tax Credit, poverty, dignity, children, Catholic Church, priority for the poor, social justice, chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire
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