"the 1986 tax reform changed the tide again by introducing the Earned Income Tax Credit."
The Earned Income Tax Credit was introduced in 1975.
"The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) grew from $3.9 billion in 1975 (in
1999 dollars), the ﬁrst year it was part of the tax code"
There was a very important expansion of the EITC in 1993 which was part of the least bipartisan bill in decades (0 Republican Senators voted for it and 0 Republican representatives voted for it).
I am totally befuddled. So far tonight I have corrected innaccurate claims about the history of the EITC (which is all publicly available) made by you, Josh Marshall, Suzy Khimm and Ezra Klein.
Kids these days just have no idea about tax policy in the 1970s. That means Marshall too (well also earlier Ed Kilgore who isn't a kid).
This is all very alarming.
OK on substance the 2001 Bush tax cuts reduced income tax liabilities below zero for many families. I think the key provision was the child tax credit. It is true that the 1986 tax reform reduced taxes paid by families with very low incomes. That reform was definitely bipartisan initially being proposed and largely drafted by Jack Kemp and Bill Bradley (I think the 1986 reform was the high point in the lives of some inside the beltway wonks --- the bipartisan golden age which lasted for weeks even -- I'm pretty sure that's what many people have in mind when they discuss tax reform).
But some reductions of taxes which eliminated positive income tax liability for many families were fought tooth and nail by Republicans. The 1993 expansion received 0 Republican votes. The ARRA 3 one of who was drummed out of the party and another one who is retiring because of partisanship. Your post contains errors of fact which should be corrected, but it is also just too simple to describe the complex history of the EITC which has been caught up in the bitterest of partisan struggles