Recently, there has been much discussion about raising the minimum wage, and that is a good thing. (“Local View: How about a federal minimum-median-maximum wage?” Feb. 13).

The real question is this: Why is it that millions of Americans work full-time and can’t afford the basics of life, like food, housing, transportation, and health care? And this: Why is it that 40% of Americans are thrown into financial distress with a $400 crisis like a broken refrigerator?

Some solution is needed to ensure that all Americans have the basics. While there is probably no single answer, President Joe Biden’s proposed relief bill includes raising the minimum wage and tax fairness in the form of expanding the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. This strategy could prevent 5 million Americans from being taxed into poverty and lift millions more out of poverty. We can encourage this approach of creating ladders out of poverty by asking those who represent us in Congress to pass this legislation.

This relief bill also includes tools needed to beat the pandemic and to provide relief for small businesses and families. This is our chance to use our voices to make sure Congress does what is needed and puts America on the road to equity.

Willie Dickerson

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Snohomish, Washington

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