Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: November 5, 2015”

Oregon and the EITC

From a report from the Oregon Center for Public Policy.

Oregon is in last place nationally when it comes to the share of families qualifying for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) who claim it. That is costing the state's economy about $124 million a year in foregone federal dollars, according to the Oregon Center for Public Policy.

About a quarter of eligible Oregon working families do not claim the federal EITC, said the Center in a paper that analyzed the most recently available data, dating from 2012. This tax credit helps low-income households make ends meet, and enjoys bi-partisan support as an effective anti-poverty tool.

"Working families missing out on these federal work-support dollars have a harder time getting by," said Tyler Mac Innis, a policy analyst with the Center. "It also means fewer federal dollars ultimately flowing into businesses in communities throughout Oregon."

Oregon's poor performance in 2012 was not unusual. In the five years of available data (2008 through 2012) Oregon ranked no better than 48th among all states and the District of Columbia in terms of its EITC participation rate.

While the precise reasons why Oregon ranks so poorly are not altogether clear, research has shown that certain categories of working families are less likely to claim the credit, Mac Innis said. They include families who live in rural areas, are self-employed, do not have a qualifying child or are not proficient in English.

"It should be a priority of Oregon policymakers to make a state agency responsible for promoting the credit," Mac Innis said. "This is costing the state's economy millions in federal dollars and needlessly making life more difficult for families who are already hurting."

First take/pyramids

It's not directly relevant to the 2016 presidential race, but it does indicate the nature of the mental processes of a major candidate. The candidate is Republican Ben Carson, and the statement about the great pyramids in Egypt is this: “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.” The only real-world statement in all that is "all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves," and they have reason for that: What was found inside. And what was found inside doesn't allow storage space for grain. And the massive scope of the project, over a long period of time, precludes a single person such as Joseph (of the Bible) being behind their construction, and almost requires that the actors be the kings of Egypt (the pharaohs). What does it say about the mental processes of this candidate that he has to make this kind of leap, over the long-standing judgment (which he acknowledges) of professionals who have studied the matter for so many years? Nothing good, when you're talking about a candidate for a job who would be reliant on assessing the professional views of people who know more than he could about the specifics of making the country work. You could fairly put this bit of pyramid power in the category (all by itself) of a disqualifier from the presidency. - rs (photo)