The Child Tax Credit

The $300 per month child tax credit which reduced child poverty by almost 50% is set to expire because Democratic senator Joe Manchin and all fifty Republican senators say it’s mostly giving money to people who haven’t earned it and don’t deserve it. Challenged to say why he doesn’t want to sharply reduce child poverty at a cost well within the nation’s capability, Manchin cited a talk he had with a woman who said her daughter was a crackhead, implying that she would spend the child tax credit on drugs. I’m sure some parents spend money they receive stupidly or self-indulgently, resulting in no benefit to the child. In what percent of families is that the case? Maybe 2%, maybe 10%? Whatever it is, you can bet –– I believe it’s been documented ––that for the overwhelming percentage of eligible families, the child tax credit makes a substantial difference in the physical and mental health of the children involved. Sure, some of this subsidy is wasted. There are sensible ways of addressing that problem. Throwing millions of children that have been lifted out of poverty, back into it, in great numbers of cases blighting their lives, isn’t one of them.