July 22, 2013
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch invited you to provide input on tax reform, particularly about tax expenditures. As people of faith from across religions, denominations, and backgrounds, we see the federal budget and our tax code as moral documents, outlining our priorities as a country. We urge you to write a letter and emphasize some of the most effective anti-poverty initiatives enacted: the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
As groups dedicated to addressing poverty and hunger, we were pleased to see the letter from Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch. As we read it, this letter calls for a “blank slate” approach in regards to tax credits, while protecting the EITC and CTC at their current levels, with the 2009 improvements. We in the faith community would like to affirm this decision and would hope that in the coming conversations about tax reform this is not lost. The EITC and the CTC keep many out of poverty and are examples of our faithful principles in practice.
Please write Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch and tell them that you support and agree that tax reform must ensure the EITC and CTC are continued at their current levels with the 2009 improvements.
We know there are many voices clamoring around tax reform. However, those struggling with hunger and in poverty are often left out of the tax policy debates. We urge you to remember them as you make important decisions over generating and allocating federal resources.
Second, it is important that tax reform generate adequate new revenue so we can continue this country’s commitment to addressing poverty while contributing to a healthy economy and fiscal future. As people of faith, we can envision a world without hunger and poverty. But that vision is untenable if sequestration remains in place, if our long-term deficits grow too big, if we fail to invest in effective anti-poverty measures, and if our economy remains weak. We urge you to emphasize this point as well.
In Proverbs (31.9) we are reminded of our responsibility to “Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.” We urge you to follow these words as you provide input on tax reform. These tax decisions will reflect more than our government’s revenue situation, they will reflect our values as a nation.
Bread for the World
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Council of Jewish Women
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Justice Team
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society