The Progressives Making the Case for Monthly Tax Refunds

For the millions of Americans who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, April 15 is just another day. Taxpayers who get this credit, which gives a refund to low- and moderate-income households (and more to those with children), are often among the first to file their federal income taxes, meaning that many or most of them got this chore over with back in late January, at the start of tax season.

That’s because the .

Brown’s bill now has the support of 46 Democratic senators and more than 80 national organizations, including the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Economic Security Project Action, the lobbyist arm of the group behind the Cost-of-Living Refund. (Ruben serves as its director.) This plan represents an incremental approach to improving the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The Cost-of-Living Refund is a bigger-picture concept, closer in kind to the Green New Deal or Medicare for All proposals, Ruben says. It serves as an umbrella for a number of related policies and reforms. And he thinks that a monthly, expanded tax credit could be the next litmus adopted by the Democratic Party.  

“You can’t run for president as a Democrat today if you’re not in favor of $15 an hour minimum wage,” Ruben says. (That’s probably true of many if not all the current declared candidates.) “I think we’re going to be in that place over the next few months where everybody has some version of an income policy like a Cost-of-Living Refund.”

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