The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

War on the working poor

Apr 28, 2003

On April 24, the Bush Administration announced new rules for millions of the working poor who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. If the rules go through, four million families will have to provide incredible amounts of impossible to find documentation before they can claim the credit.

The government claims that it loses from 6.5 billion dollars to 10 billion dollars a year from false claims on the Earned Income Tax Credit. By way of contrast, the IRS itself admits it loses 132 billion dollars a year to individuals – most of whom are wealthy; 70 billion dollars from offshore bank accounts, 46 billion dollars from corporations and 30 billion dollars from business partnerships. Even by the government's own admission, over 20 times as much money is lost to big business and wealthy cheats as to the poor. Yet the government doesn't demand documents in advance from the wealthy or big business – and it audits less than one% of them.

Tax experts estimate that most of those who will lose the Earned Income Credit are entitled to it, but won't be able to put together the required dossier.

This isn't about catching tax "fraud." It's about stealing money from the poorest workers while giving more to the wealthy.