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In case you missed them, there were two very different but equally powerful history lessons that were made available online in recent days:

#1 – The first came from a professor of history, Duke University’s William Chafe, whose op-ed in Raleigh’s News & Observer provided a refresher course on the close link between the rise and fall of the middle class and our ebbing and flowing societal commitment to public investments.

#2 – The second came from author Larkin Warren whose piece for the New York Times (“I Was a Welfare Mother”) provides a powerful refutation of those who seek to “divide and conquer” or simply ignore the Americans who find themselves, at times, “dependent” on public assistance.

Great stuff.

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If you’re trying to make sense out of this constantly shifting debate about the supposed percentage of Americans who are “dependent,” check out this post by Mike Konczai at The Next New Deal .

In it, he explores where some of these numbers that are getting thrown around came from and what the people behind them are really trying to accomplish. 

“The right is splitting over whether or not the 47 percent argument is worth defending. It’s important to understand that, while it is true that 47 percent of households don’t pay a federal income tax, the distribution of the tax burden isn’t what the 47 percent theory is about. The 47 percent theory is all about grand political battles. My colleague Mark Schmitt has one examination of where this theory comes from hereBrian Beutler also investigates the background of the 47 percent meme, and Kevin Drum does a history of the EITC here. Read More

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The recent hubbub surrounding Mitt Romney’s statements about who pays federal taxes has prompted the experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to produce an excellent report that spells out the truth of the matter in great detail.

Read “Misconceptions and Realities About Who Pays Federal Taxes” by clicking here.

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Today the Budget & Tax Center released a brief, “North Carolina’s Earned Income Tax Credit: A Support to Working Families with Widespread Benefits”, that presents county level data on the number of working families receiving the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Among the facts offered about the credit:

  • The state EITC provides workers earning low wages with a credit to offset their total state and local tax contributions. The state EITC was worth 5 percent of the federal EITC to a family claiming the credit in 2010.
  • Recently available data from the N.C. Department of Revenue show that more than 883,000 North Carolinians claimed the credit in 2010 and that they live in every county in the state.
  • National research on the EITC finds that the credit has reached nearly half of workers with children at some point and the majority received it for a short period of time.

Click here to read the brief and to see how the credit boosts the economies of each of the state’s 100 counties.

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As last-minute tax filers scramble to get their taxes in by Tuesday’s midnight deadline, demonstrators gathered outside the Bank of America branch in Raleigh’s Cameron Village to protest corporate tax avoidance.

The NC AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org, and other community activists believe that Tax Day is a reminder that corporations and the super wealthy are not paying their fair share. The AFL-CIO’s Jeremy Sprinkle says that leads to cuts in vital public services and leaves working families and everyone else in the 99% stuck with the bill.

Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a national study that found multiple North Carolina-based companies have been able to sharply reduce their state corporate income tax bills, often reducing them to zero in profitable years, likely costing North Carolina millions.

To hear more from the tax day protesters, click below:

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