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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Ed Kilgore on EITC expansion and welfare reform again

There he goes again. After I have repeatedly noted his falsehoods, Kilgore concedes that the EITC was expanded before AFDC was reformed into TANF. He insists, based on no evidence, that the two bills passed by completely different congresses 3 years apart are part of the same thing. This is nonsense.

When I first read the EITC increase is part of welfare reform howler here, I asked my friend Brad DeLong who was deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for policy analysis in 1993 when the EITC was increased. He wrote back. I just got his permission to quote him in full with my e-mail (not in full) for context

Dear Brad

I knew I would get pissed at someone from the Progressive Policy Ist taking over from Drum the Benen. It took a while. The issue i, of course, welfare reform. This
Is appalling post by Ed Kilgore in many ways, but the part I found intollerable was ascribing the expansion of the EITC to welfare reform. I consider this to be simply a lie.

Yes we should seek converts not heretics and the brand "welfare reform" is too strong to fight. But the truth is the truth. I think any historian who worked at the Clinton Treasury has an obligation to the truth to point out that Kilgore is grossly distorting history.

Also [skip]


Brad DeLong
Apr 11

to me
OUCH! That is painful...

IIRC the EITC expansion came about to offset the adverse distributional impact of the BTU tax...

Brad DeLong

Professor of Economics J. Bradford DeLong
U.C. Berkeley
925 708 0467

He was there and you weren't.

Now the point of your post is that Obama supports the 1996 welfare reform (he sure does and wrote that explicitly in The Audacity of Hope. But your claim that the EITC expansion of 1993 was part of it is just false.

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