Roughly 200,000 North Carolina residents have been kept out of poverty by the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.
The act, which was passed in February, increased food stamp benefits, expanded the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit and introduced a Making Work Pay tax credit for workers, elderly people, veterans and people with disabilities. The act also helped local economies by giving people additional money that was generally spent quickly at local businesses.
Advocacy groups are already calling on Congress to extend the additional benefits in response to the continued economic downturn the nation has faced this year.
"Congress agreed to extend the extra unemployment benefits through February," said Louisa Warren Senior Policy Advocate at the North Carolina Justice Center. "But with unemployment likely to remain high for some time, it will need to extend them further. Congress should also extend the Act's refundable tax credits next year so they continue to boost the economy and help families."