Booker proposes broad expansion of middle-class tax credit

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters 2020 Democrats look to cut into Biden's lead with black voters Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use MORE (N.J.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on Monday proposed a broad expansion of the earned income tax credit (EITC), which benefits low- and middle-income workers.

Under his proposal, which is dubbed the "Rise Credit" and was unveiled on Tax Day, the income eligibility for the EITC would rise from about $54,000 to $90,000 for married couples, Booker's campaign said in a statement. 

Eligibility for the EITC would expand to low-income students and caregivers, and age qualifications would be broadened to cover all working Americans who are 18 and older.

ADVERTISEMENT

The maximum EITC credit amount would also increase by about 25 percent under the plan, to roughly $8,000 annually for married couples, according to the campaign. Eligible workers without children would also receive the maximum individual credit of $4,000, about eight times what they can get currently, the campaign said.

“So many Americans find themselves with more month at the end of their money than money at the end of their month. Families’ earnings are not keeping up with the cost of living, and many people are living paycheck to paycheck with little to nothing left over to save," Booker said in a statement. 

“But instead of helping hard-working Americans who are struggling to get by, our tax code concentrates benefits to those at the very top. It’s unconscionable that hedge fund managers can pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than their secretaries. That’s wrong and must change," he added. 

Senate Democrats last week introduced legislation that would expand the EITC as well as the child tax credit (CTC), a credit for families with children.

Booker is a co-sponsor of that legislation, which the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates would bring almost 30 million people above or closer to the poverty line. 

The New Jersey senator trails several 2020 rivals in early polls, currently averaging support from 3.7 percent of Americans surveyed.