This morning, California Representative Ro Khanna and Ohio Representative Tim Ryan proposed an emergency Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which would provide a check of between $1,000 and $6,000 for each American earning less than $65,000 annually (meaning three-quarters of the population). Those who work for hourly pay, along with independent contractors and gig workers, will prove particularly vulnerable to the economic slowdown.
Said Khanna, “In order to alleviate the economic fallout of the coronavirus, we must ensure hard-working Americans have money in their pockets and are able to pay their bills.” He went on to point out that a payroll tax cut, as pushed by President Donald Trump, would not be enough to stem the inevitable damage. “If we can afford to pump $1.5 trillion into lending markets, then we can afford this solution to help every American.”
The $1.5 trillion reference was to capital injections pumped into financial markets by the Federal Reserve Bank in response to the crisis.
Ryan put Americans’ vulnerability into stark terms: “Nearly half of working Americans don’t have the cash to cover a $400 emergency.”