Paul Ryan and friends won't expand the earned income tax cut or hike the minimum wage, even if it helps the economy
© Reuters/Jim BourgAP/Manuel Balce Ceneta/J. Scott Applewhite/Photo collage by Salon
John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio
It's heartwarming to see how quickly Rep. Paul Ryan's new poverty report
has been debunked and discredited. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has the most exhaustive takedown
, but the Fiscal Times report featuring scholars
who said Ryan misrepresented their work in order to discredit anti-poverty programs was devastating, too. What's become clear in the last two days is that, just like Paul, his fellow Republicans have absolutely no plans to fight poverty except, perhaps, repealing the 20th century.
As I noted Tuesday, Ryan did single out one anti-poverty program he likes: the earned income tax credit, which helps low-wage parents by eliminating their tax burden or giving them a refundable tax credit. President Obama, always on the lookout for areas of compromise, quickly responded, with a budget proposal that expands the credit
to benefit 13.5 million workers and increases what it provides them. Obama would pay for the EITC expansion by eliminating the ugly "carried interest" loophole, which lets certain investment bankers evade taxes, along with another tax break for wealthy self-employed individuals.
What was Ryan's response? He dismissed Obama's budget as a "campaign brochure." House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, called it the president's "most irresponsible budget yet." Sen. Marco Rubio, who briefly pretended to care about poverty, specifically denounced Obama's EITC expansion
. "I am concerned by the President's call to expand the status quo on the Earned Income Tax Credit. We should be reforming this flawed approach to helping low-income workers, not expanding it."