NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, helps you tell your Senators to expand and make permanent both the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Why? Because, unlike the multitudinous tax credits corporations get for doing nothing or doing things they're already doing, the EITC and the CTC actually help working families, and in helping working families they help the economy as well. It may be no coincidence that Pope Francis is coming to town in mid-September, right about when Congress will be deciding matters concerning tax relief; I doubt that Congress has heard and digested the Pope's repeated criticisms of world poverty, but it'll be nice to have him around, spreading the word -- especially if right-wing haters start spouting off about how 47% of American don't pay any taxes due to the EITC and CTC. All of those Americans pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, and the like, but why tell the whole truth when you can punch some poor people? (NETWORK also advises you to call 1.888.410.0619 and actually speak to your Senator's office about the matter; certainly they'll take more notice if they get a phone call.)
Meanwhile, H.R. 3164/S. 1832, the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act, would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour over the next four years, and would provide for further annual increases based on increases in the median wage of all Americans (which, as I said before, would be really good some years and really bad in others; I would still prefer indexing the increases to inflation). The bill would also hike tipped employees' wages, though rather more gradually than everyone else's; perhaps the bill's authors (Rep. Ellison in the House and Sen. Sanders in the Senate) included that part as a concession to restauranteurs, though of course I wouldn't make such concessions until, you know, negotiations have actually begun. Still, the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act is considerably better than the Democrats' other offering on the minimum wage, the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 2150/S. 1150), which would gradually raise the minimum wage to $12/hour over the same period. I guess it's good that they're shooting higher. CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 3065/S. 1779, the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act, then CREDO still helps you do that. The bill would slow the "revolving door" between the financial sector and our government, by preventing corporations from handing out bonuses or other compensation packages to employees who go off to work for our government, since that seems the very definition of the "conflict of interest." If you know that Citigroup paid Jack Lew a $1 million bonus for getting a government regulatory gig in 2009, you know this is a problem -- after all, banksters don't hand out bonuses like that because they expect you'll be extra hard on them when matters concerning them come before you. Naturally, the destroy-all-regulations-at-all-costs crowd will smile and tell us that banksters are the only people who understand the system, therefore they're the people you should put in charge of regulating it. You recognize that, right? It's a hostage situation -- put the fox in charge of the henhouse, or the hens get it!