There is, of course, more to fighting poverty than anti-poverty spending. Work and wages are crucial. And throughout four years of lousy labor-market performance, touted consistently by the right as some kind of boom, wages have stagnated and the poverty rate has risen in each and every year. Having attracted praise in 2000 for attacking congressional GOP efforts to cut the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) -- a key program helping the working poor -- Bush proceeded to do the same thing by stealth. The IRS has redirected its efforts away from catching rich people who cheat on their taxes to denying on technicalities EITC benefits for poor workers who have trouble navigating the complicated thicket of paperwork the program requires.
I like to read Matthew Yglesias, yes he's full of vitriol but he has interesting things to say (too many of the Pundits on both sides have the former and not the later). I was reading this article when I hit this paragraph. Now I am resolutely boring (still married to the wife of my youth and all) but I have prepared my own taxes most years and have never had an issue with the EIC paperwork. Sadly, my first career as a starving college student meant we qualified every year until this one. The schedule for the EIC and directions fit one double sided 8 1/2x11 page. It's not that hard. Now I hope the IRS is catching rich scofflaws rather than giving semi-literate folks dutch rubs for poorly following instructions, but come on.