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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

1 - A History of the EITC


Chapter 1 provides a history of the EITC, explaining how the concept dates back to Milton Friedman’s idea for a negative income tax, Richard Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan proposal, and Russell Long’s work bonus plan. This chapter traces how, over four decades, a modest work incentive evolved into one of the most important antipoverty programs in the United States. It highlights studies correlating the EITC with positive outcomes for recipient families. The chapter also introduces the Code’s other refundable tax credit for working families – the Child Tax Credit – and distinguishes the two tax credits.