When the GOP debate moved on to the economy, of course some of the candidates spoke about working families. And, of course, some of those candidates proved just how out-of-touch they are when it comes to what it’s like to be a working family. Marco Rubio spoke about his tax plan, and how working families need an expanded child tax credit. He said:
Imagine how hard it is for these people out there that are making $40-, $50- or $60,000 a year, and they’re trying to provide for their families at a time when this economy is not growing.
He failed to say anything at all about the working families that are making less than $40,000, let alone all of those living at, or below, the federal poverty line. Yes, an expanded tax credit is fantastic for working families making more than the median U.S. income. How is that going to help poor families already receiving that credit? Is it going to make the credit bigger?
Besides that, tax credits have limited effectiveness for those families when we have companies like Walmart depressing wages nationwide, and a federal minimum wage that is well below what people actually need to live.
Rubio does not believe in raising the minimum wage, which is probably the biggest economic stimulus we could put in place. He does believe in cutting taxes for the wealthy, which doesn’t work at all (because if it was going to work, it would have worked by now). While we definitely shouldn’t ignore the plight of the middle class, the middle class could be helped if we also help the poor. This tax credit of his is, at best, a token gesture to everyone making less than about $100,000 per year.
Featured image by Gage Skidmore