While it’s a relief to see Democrats embrace a policy regarding children that doesn’t involve mask mandates in schools, it would be nice if they gave credit where credit is due: They’ve borrowed the idea of a Child Tax Credit (CTC) for families and are acting like they came up with it themselves.
The CTC was initially conceived by Republicans in the late 1990s to strengthen families. As part of the House Republican Contract with America at the time, the party championed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, providing a $500-per-child nonrefundable credit that offered tax relief to middle- and upper-middle-income families.
Of course, parents were spending more than $500 on a child per year at the time. But this was a way to at least blunt the cost. President Bush doubled the amount in 2001 and President Trump doubled it again in 2017.
But now Democrats are trying to “culturally appropriate” Republicans’ Child Tax Credit, having rolled it into the so-called “American Rescue Plan Act,” which allows qualifying families to offset $3,000 per child up to age 17 and $3,600 per child under age 6 through up front, monthly payments from the government. The size of the benefit gradually diminishes as income rises.
It’s no surprise that the new modest monthly cash payments to families are popular – 64% of Americans now want to make the revamped CTC permanent.
Since its inception, the CTC has transformed the credit from a generally nonrefundable credit available only to the middle and upper-middle class, to a partially refundable credit that more low-income families are eligible to claim. Meaning that more Americans are getting more tax relief, which is always a good thing.
The tax credit has always been designed to strengthen families, which is why Republicans originally conceived it and not Democrats. This kind of tax relief empowers parents to make financial choices for the next generation of Americans in accordance with their own beliefs, keeping the government at an appropriate arm’s length.
Parents should – shocker to all the public-school fanatics who keep getting caught on camera preaching their dogma – have as much control over funds directed at their children.
Unlike unemployment and similar government-dependency programs, the CTC supports parents to continue with or gain employment. The government has long since overstepped for far too long, dictating terms for tax relief/aid.
And unlike welfare programs where the government transfers cash in a perverse social engineering model, the CTC incentivizes marriage and gainful employment. Tax penalties for marriage are a contributing co-factor to the decline in working-class marriage rates.
Before the revamped CTC went into effect, 11% of households with children reported that they had not had enough food to eat in the past week. After the funds were released, the rate dropped by one-quarter to just over 8%. This marks the lowest rate since the beginning of the pandemic.
The policy also applies to expectant mothers in their final trimester, helping to reward those who choose life. This kind of relief can provide American families the cushion they need while parents train or look for new work.
CTC can also provide essential funds to parents who have chosen to leave the workforce to care for family members.
As a positive step, Republicans in Congress are starting to realize the opportunity to reinstate their leadership on the issue.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., recently introduced legislation that would expand eligibility for the CTC to cover the duration of a mother’s pregnancy – further strengthening the CTC as a pro-life policy.
While it can’t come soon enough, the 2022 midterms are likely going to be a bloodbath for Democrats. Enabling the border crisis, sabotaging our economy and energy production, and preposterous COVID mandates seem like nothing now compared to giving our military away to the Taliban.
Democrats will do anything to try to stem the losses – This is just another issue to help Republicans retake the mantle.
Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. Read Jared Whitley's reports — More Here
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