March 3

I am grateful to Charles Lane for his clear explanation of Rep. Dave Camp’s proposal to reduce the earned-income tax credit (EITC) [“A credit to the tax code,” op-ed, Feb. 28]. However, I was surprised to see him characterize the credit as “market-oriented.” Instead, let’s call it what it is: a taxpayer subsidy of business profits that shields corporations and small businesses from the demands of the labor market. Through the EITC, taxpayers make it possible for businesses to pay workers meager wages and protect their profits.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for the EITC. In our current business environment, which is so hostile to American workers, minimum-wage employees need all the help they can get. Mr. Camp (R-Mich.) should find other means of paying for his tax breaks for the wealthy, but we should also insist that businesses pay a livable minimum wage. Perhaps then there would be no need for the EITC.

Tony Speranza, Silver Spring