Washington D.C., September 14, 2017 – Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) jointly introduced the Grow American Incomes Now (GAIN) Act in the Senate and House yesterday, joined by 50 cosponsors. The legislation doubles the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, and more than doubles the maximum credit for childless adults, helping to reset working class incomes to where they would be if median wages had tracked with economic growth over the last 30 years.

As an early supporter of the GAIN Act, the Niskanen Center’s poverty and welfare analyst Samuel Hammond was asked by Rep. Khanna to speak at the press conference.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit has had long standing bipartisan support as a policy that both promotes work and which directly lifts over 6 million people out of poverty each year,” Hammond said. “Yet the GAIN Act fundamentally reimagines the EITC as potentially something much more.”

The striking fact is that the median American household earned roughly the same income in 2016 as it did in 1999. By some measures, median lifetime earnings may even have declined. This legislation corrects for that fact, by using the EITC to directly increase the incomes of workers to where they would be, had economic growth and wages not become unmoored.

Hammond adds, “This bill therefore doubles-down on the pro-work and anti-poverty aspects of the EITC while also transforming the policy into a tool for ensuring that the fruits of globalization and technological progress are widely shared. And it does so in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.”

The Niskanen Center is a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank that works to change public policy through direct engagement in the policymaking process.