U.S. Capitol

Flags fly Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 1.

As noted in the Journal Star ("Census: Inequality grew in the heartland," Sept. 27), the level of income inequality is the highest it’s been in more than 50 years.

Sadly, this type of inequality also exists in the federal tax code, where the largest tax expenditures disproportionately benefit large corporations. Yet, the code taxes into poverty more than 5 million low-wage workers not raising children at home. And millions of children in low-income families are not eligible for the full Child Tax Credit (CTC).

Congress is considering another tax bill this fall with lots of benefits for businesses. After being ignored in the 2017 tax law, workers and families must not be passed over again.

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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and CTC are pro-work, pro-family tax credits for people working in low-wage jobs. Together, they lifted 7.9 million Americans above the poverty line in 2018, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Expanding the EITC and CTC would ensure our tax code supports low-income Americans struggling to make ends meet.

I urge our members of Congress -- Reps. Jeff Fortenberry, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith, along with Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse -- to uphold the principle that no business tax breaks should be extended or expanded without also expanding the EITC and CTC in the same bill.

Jamy Rentschler, Lincoln

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