The Goodhearted and the Scrooges

Ezra Klein wrote a moving piece in yesterday’s New York Times titled “America turned its back on the poorest families.” It was about the brief life of the expanded child tax credit of $3,000 for every child age 6 to 17 and $3,600 for every child under age 6 that lifted 3.4 million children above the poverty line for a while. As Klein and many others have pointed out, the credit didn’t just have the virtue of relieving hunger and misery, it greatly increased the chances that millions of children become functioning members of society rather than a burden on society in later life. A problem for those wanting to extend the credit was that financing it would have required scaling back some tax cuts and tax breaks favoring the rich and especially the super rich, a course of action that is anathema to Republicans. The scrooges in the Senate outnumbered the good-hearted, so the bill extending it was voted down.