Last November, we saw voters taking the first steps to repudiate the
right-wing ideology and institutions that have long dominated much of the
political landscape in our states. For too long, we have seen right-wing
politicians, backed by corporate money and by conservative think tanks,
blocking communities from improving wages, impeding expansion of health care,
and auctioning off public assets and public contracts to big monied interests.
As states look to expand education funding and provide health care for
their citizens-- along with paying for other social needs-- the hardest
challenge is figuring out what taxes need to be raised to accomplish
A new "State of the States"
report by State Coverage Initiatives, a program of the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation surveys recent state efforts to expand health
insurance coverage. Rising hopes bode well for additional reforms in
other states, but the report cautions that because of variations in
each state, particular reforms are not always easily replicable in
Some opponents of the minimum wage argue that Earned Income Tax Credit is a complete substitute. However, as a new Urban Institutereport emphasizes, "raising the EITC enough to offset the loss in purchasing power of the minimum wage could prove costly," and the EITC system would have to be expanded to a far larger portion of working families to make up for the lost value of the minimum wage.