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Halpern-Meekin: Monthly child tax credit changed from policy to politics

While critics and champions of the expanded child tax credit debate its merits, they agree it’s hard to predict its future, both in terms of the form that credit might take and the impact on families.

“I know about the CTC and families’ experience,” said Sarah Halpern-Meekin, associate professor of human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The question now is a political one as opposed to a policy one. Clearly, there are internal deliberations in the Democratic party, especially with Joe Manchin. There’s not a lot of public movement right now.”

Different degrees of need, help

Nor is there a single type of impact on families from either having or losing the expanded benefit, said Halpern-Meekin. She said higher-income families that were already getting a child tax credit are less likely to need monthly payments to help smooth income from month to month. For working-class families on tighter budgets, the monthly payments likely helped more.

The last group includes families that were not getting all of — or perhaps any of — the child tax credit before because their earned income was not high enough.

“Those are the lowest-income kids and those were the ones for whom we were seeing really big changes in child poverty,” said Halpern-Meekin. For them, the difference could be whether they can afford gas or pay the electric bill or rent.

Source: Deseret News, published January 9, 2022


Read the full article at: https://www.deseret.com/2022/1/9/22872734/monthly-child-tax-credit-payments-stopped-will-they-be-back-democrats-manchin-biden