Charlie’s EITC Increase Has Gone Missing!

Update: the Baker campaign points out that the candidate still favors an EITC increase and a mention of that fact can still be found on his website. That’s true. But this assistance for low-income working parents has been dropped from the economic plan, “Great Again Massachusetts,” his campaign wants to talk about now.

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Charlie Baker was out yesterday with an economic plan to support small business and increase opportunity. It’s been a full three months since he last announced an economic plan to support small business and increase opportunity. Let’s see what’s changed.

Back in June, you’ll recall, the Baker/Polito ticket toured the state touting an economic plan that was a three-legged stool: (1) an increase in the minimum wage, (2) a package of tax cuts for businesses, and (3) a 100 percent increase in the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which Baker said, “would help the people the state should be helping most –- low-income, working parents.”

The new plan, packaged in a glossy brochure with the title “Great Again Massachusetts,” does not mention increasing the minimum wage, for the obvious reason that bipartisan legislation accomplishing that goal was enacted over the summer.

The package of tax cuts for business is still there, including tax credits to offset the cost the minimum wage increase will have on business.

But the doubling of the state Earned Income Tax Credit? It’s gone from the new plan. Although the new Baker plan talks about “opportunity and growth everywhere,” you won’t find a mention of an EITC increase anywhere.

Maybe it was eliminated because the Baker campaign wants to lowball costs. At yesterday’s event, Baker said the tax cuts he was proposing would cost the state only $250 million to $300 million, an amount so small, in his view, that he hadn’t even bothered to develop a plan to pay for them: “we can figure it out.” Doubling the state EITC would add about $130 million to those costs, making a plan to pay for them a rather more urgent matter.

And maybe another reason it was eliminated was that, as November approaches, the Baker campaign is returning to its roots and reconsidering whether the “people the state should be helping most” are low-income working parents.

2 thoughts on “Charlie’s EITC Increase Has Gone Missing!

  1. Don’t you think Charlie’s EITC increase just became his tax cut to offset the minimum wage increase? The only reason he was floating the EITC plan was as an alternative to the minimum wage increase. Once that passed, as far as Charlie’s concerned the poor folks got their money.

    His goal all along was to ensure that the state budget, rather than any business (even Target, McDonald’s, or Shaw’s) took the hit for any additional money that ended up in the pockets of low-wage workers. The EITC increase would have done that directly, but the indemnifying tax cut does it just as well.

    • Hi – you make a good point. Charlie has adopted a variety of positions. Back in October, he wanted an EITC increase instead of a minimum wage increase. Then in June (when a big minimum wage increase was inevitable), he was in favor of that, and also in favor of the EITC increase and in favor of business tax breaks to offset the minimum wage increase. Now in September the EITC increase is apparently dispensable. The trend is pretty clear that protecting business is job #1.

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