WASHINGTON - As workers across the country are struggling to put food on the table, right wing members of Congress have proposed restricting critical tax credits for children in working low-income families to pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut. Eliseo Medina, International Secretary Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement urging Congress to save the Child Tax Credit to prevent millions of families from slipping further into poverty:
"Some lawmakers will stop at nothing to shamelessly protect the interests of the 1%. It's bad enough that millionaires are not paying their fair share while everyday workers shoulder the burden of the economic downturn, but the buck stops at balancing the budget on the backs of children. Eliminating the Child Tax Credit for millions of low-income families would have a devastating impact on the very population that the policy is designed to protect - children.
This proposal represents a frontal attack on Latino families and the communities where they live. More than 80 percent of the families impacted by the proposed tax policy are part of the Latino community - a demographic that is among the hardest-hit in these harsh economic times. Those who have proposed such a reduction are sending a clear message: They are willing to forfeit the financial well-being of low-income Latinos while demanding nothing of the richest segment of our society.
Families that depend on the Child Tax Credit spend their last dollars on bare necessities like childcare, groceries, and housing - vital sources of community funds. Taking this credit away from more than two million families not only takes food from the mouths of millions of U.S. citizen children, but it also stunts the ability of their local communities to function. Any consideration given to a policy that would strip funds from low income communities of color is unconscionable at a time when lawmakers should be developing and enacting initiatives that bolster local economies.
We will not be derailed by the attempts of some to make this debate about anything other than our nation's children - the future workforce of our country. We will be watching to see who stands with working people and hold those lawmakers accountable who support sacrificing the most vulnerable members of our society for the 1%."
With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy. www.seiu.org.