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The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Need to Synchronize Public Assistance Benefits


  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


In 1993 President Clinton expanded the earned income tax credit (EITC), a refundable credit allowed to households with children aimed at reducing the tax burden of employment for the working poor. In this working paper, Levy Institute Research Associate Oren M. Levin-Waldman examines why the EITC was implemented, who its intended beneficiaries are, who benefits most from the program, and whether the program serves those most in need. Levin-Waldman concludes that the EITC, as it is currently structured, fails to meet its intended goals. If the program were restructured and its benefits synchronized with those of other existing programs, however, he feels that the EITC could serve as the core of a meaningful welfare reform program. Levin-Waldman presents a proposal for a restructuring of the EITC and existing welfare programs that would eliminate the disincentives to work present in the current system and would focus on the goals of a just welfare system.

Suggested Citation

  • Oren M. Levin-Waldman, 1999. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Need to Synchronize Public Assistance Benefits," Macroeconomics 9903004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9903004
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 52; figures: included

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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics


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