Government Bytes


Latest Taxpayer's Tab: EITC Expansion, Travel Limits

by Michael Tasselmyer / /

Happy Memorial Day Weekend from the staff at National Taxpayers Union Foundation!

In this weeks' edition of The Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF took an in-depth look at three bills we recently scored as part of our ongoing BillTally project.

  • Most Expensive: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the largest and most well known anti-poverty programs the government runs. In 2011, almost 28 million families and individuals claimed the credit, resulting in outlays of over $55.7 billion. Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced the EITC for Childless Workers Act in order to expand EITC benefits by lowering the age for eligibility and increasing benefit rates for childless workers who claim the credit. H.R. 4117 would increase spending by at least $4.4 billion per year.
  • Least Expensive: The Farm Bill was enacted in February without the reforms to the federal crop insurance program that many had been hoping for. Senators Jeane Shaheen (D-NH) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced S. 2201 in an attempt to head off some of the program's costs; the bill would cap the amount of premium subsidies any farm could receive from the government at $70,000 per year. The bill's provisions would save $500 million over five years.
  • Wildcard: Members of Congress are offered hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to hire staff, rent office space, and travel to and from their home districts. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced the If Our Military Has to Fly Coach Then so Should Congress Act of 2014, which would prevent Mmebers from using federal funding to purchase airline tickets above coach class.

The Tab is available online with more information on each of these bills.