Richard Nixon, as we know, tried to pass a guaranteed minimum income for poor families. And in 1975, the year after Nixon resigned, Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass the first Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s the EITC, as you may have read over the last couple of days, that’s more responsible than anything else for taking so many working poor off the income tax rolls. Republicans liked it—it was designed to keep people off welfare, and it did (and does). Ronald Reagan, expanding it in 1986, bragged that millions of families would be removed from the tax rolls altogether.
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