ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: ASSET BUILDING


Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Asset Building Publications

Texas Lacks Foundation for Long-Term Economic Success (12/18/2002)
The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) has just released its annual Development Report Card for the States, which assesses state economic development capacity. Texas received poor marks in its economic performance and its capacity for future development. CFED warned against the temptation to cut programs as a quick fix for budget problems and recommended continued investment in the economic fundamentals needed for long-term gains.

Making Work Pay: The Earned Income Credit (02/19/2002)
The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a special tax benefit for working people who earn low or moderate incomes. The EIC reduces the tax burden on these workers, supplements their wages, and supports a transition from welfare to work. Workers who qualify for the EIC can get back some or all of the federal income tax taken out of their pay during the year and even get some additional cash. Workers whose earnings are too low to have paid taxes can still get the EIC. Annual benefits can be as large as $4,008, but only about 80 percent of those eligible actually claim the credit. The Child Tax Credit now works towards a similar endâ€"reducing the tax burden of parents by up to $600 annually per qualifying child. Any remainder is then refundable to the parent.

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