BIG Bill to Be Introduced in the U.S. Congress (from 2006)
This essay was originally published in the USBIG NewsFlash in March 2006.
Congressman Bob Filner (Democrat from San Diego, California) will introduce a bill in the U.S. Congress in late April 2006, entitled, “A Tax Cut For the Rest of Us.” The preamble of the bill reads, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a basic income guarantee in the form of a refundable tax credit for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions.”
The Bill would transform the standard income tax deduction into a standard tax credit of $2000 per adult and $1000 per child. For the first time, it would give a “refundable tax credit” to everyone who filed an income tax return, even if the person had no private income. The current “Earned Income Tax Credit” provides a small refundable tax credit, but only to those who have some earned income. Anyone who earns zero is ineligible. The current “standard tax deduction” is “nonrefundable,” meaning that if people’s incomes are so low that their deductions are greater than their taxes, they pay no taxes, but receive no cash back either. The BIG bill would change that, allowing low-income Americans to receive up to $2000 in cash as a tax credit, and everyone else to receive the same amount off of the taxes they pay.
Al Sheahen has been working tirelessly with Filner and his staff for nearly two years to get this bill introduced. The Bill is based on a proposal written by Al Sheahen and Karl Widerquist presented at the 2005 USBIG Congress. The bill lacks a Republican co-sponsor, which makes its prospects dim in the current Republican-controlled session, but Sheahen sees the bill as a long-term objective, around which to organize support and which might have a much better chance after congressional elections in November. A copy of “The Tax-Cut-For-The-Rest-Of-Us Act of 2006” is on the USBIG website at http://www.usbig.net. For information on how to help support the bill contact Al Sheahen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Karl Widerquist, Oxford, UK, March 31, 2006