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Apr.6, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 10

Tight-jawed over tax credit

In response to: An economic life

Published on April6, 2011

Every spring, as I do the taxes of my stepdaughter, I get tight-jawed about the earned income credit (EIC), a massive giveaway to the welfare class, courtesy of American workers and retirees.

I’ve been unsure where to direct my disgust with the throw-money-at-the-problem EIC concept ... until now, that is, when the March 2 issue of PAW hit the mailbox, and there, staring imperiously, looking for all the world as if he just stepped out (sans pitchfork) of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting, was economics professor Alan Blinder. PAW’s puff piece reveals that “Blinder served on President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, where he helped increase the earned income credit — a significant anti-poverty initiative ... ” (my italics added).

Real fine, Professor Blinder; thanks a bunch!

H. Philip Brandt II ’60
Austin, Texas

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6 Responses to Tight-jawed over tax credit

Mike McCoy Says:

2011-04-28 13:24:38

If this is the type of people that come from Princeton, the university needs to reevaluate the students they teach and the ethics they preach. Glad I wasn't "smart" enough to get in.

Ali Abunimah '93 Says:

2011-04-28 13:26:44

This must be the most selfish letter I have ever read in PAW. First of all, EIC goes to workers, not to the mythical and racially coded "welfare class." Second, as a worker and taxpayer, it is me that is subsidizing retirees' Medicare and Social Security. I do not mind that, because I believe in social solidarity. What I do mind is being told that "retirees" are subsidizing workers!

Corey Robin '89 Says:

2011-04-28 14:02:03

Before you complain about coddling the lower orders, Mr. Brandt the Second, perhaps you should set your own house in order first. If your step-daughter is old enough to be working and paying taxes, shouldn't she be responsible enough to prepare and file those tax forms herself? I know I've been doing my own ever since I was 18.

Craig Albert Says:

2011-04-28 15:07:26

Before Mr. Second starts tallying up his inventory of societal slights, both real and imagined, he might want to let us in on his biography. When he does that, we can list the many ways in which his lifestyle is subsidized by others. By the way, thanks to the editors for publishing Mr. Second's letter. It serves as a reminder of how ridiculous one can look in print when one isn't careful.

Alan Ryan p'94 Says:

2011-04-28 15:53:45

Thanks to the editors for printing this horrible letter and reminding us how much more generous present-day Princetonians are than some of their forebears. (Though I suppose the author might have been Professor Krugman using a pseudonym to wind up his liberal base.)

Richard A. Sun '72 Says:

2011-06-06 08:55:49

The EITC is vastly superior to the so-called "living wage" and welfare as means to moving people toward work and off government assistance programs. Whatever problems may exist with fraud and perceived or actual subsidies, at least it rewards work.
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