As Congress considers tax reform, they should look at the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Two years ago, I started my first job as a severe special educator. I spent January through August working through my student teaching — more than a full-time job, trust me — but it didn’t pay. I saved by living with my parents. I worked overnight at a group home, part time and for minimum wage. I saved a paltry sum.

When I got my first teaching job, I was thrilled and immediately relocated. Between the deposit, first and last month’s rent and a new car payment, I spent all my savings. I bought groceries on credit, which I paid off monthly, only to max out between paychecks. Tax season came. I made less than $15,000 in 2015, qualifying me for the EITC. I cried. I paid off my credit and started saving again. I found out later I barely passed the age requirement. I thought about all the people I knew: college students, people starting careers, high school graduates saving up. Not all parents can help, and most young people don’t have fancy jobs. Those under 26 and childless do not get the EITC. If they could receive it, they may have a better chance to get and stay out of poverty. They’re debating as we speak; call on Rep. Rob Bishop and Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee to support young working Americans.

Elizabeth Spencer

Salt Lake City