Are Republicans Now Praising the EITC?

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


In the New York Times this weekend, former Obama advisor Christina Romer writes that she’s not a big fan of raising the minimum wage:

We could do so much better if we were willing to spend some money. A more generous earned-income tax credit would provide more support for the working poor and would be pro-business at the same time….Why settle for half-measures when such truly first-rate policies are well understood and ready to go?

Over at National Review, Patrick Brennan comments:

This obliquely raises an important point: Conservatives rightly praise the EITC, especially right now as an alternative to a higher minimum wage, but increasing it will cost the federal government money. For someone holding Romer’s views of our levels of debt and deficits, that is not much of a problem (she also suggest more spending on early-childhood education). But for the bulk of conservatives right now, it is, and that should be considered when suggesting the EITC as a counter to the president’s plan — it would be a non-negligible expansion of federal spending, though one that would in large part go to help the poor, blunting, perhaps, some criticisms of GOP budgeting priorities.

Did I miss something? Are conservatives now pretending to praise the EITC? They’ve mostly been sworn foes for the past two decades, so if they’re now big fans I must have missed the conversion. Hell, last year they were mostly complaining about the poor not paying enough in income taxes, something that’s true mostly because of the EITC.

In any case, I’ll bet that Obama would be delighted to raise the EITC instead of the minimum wage. The reason he didn’t bother suggesting it is that he knows perfectly well that Republicans would vote it down instantly. Conversely, raising the minimum wage has a slightly better chance of passage because (a) it’s popular and (b) employers have to pay it, not the federal government.

Right? Am I missing anything here?

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate