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January 29, 2024

Let’s Not Turn the Child Tax Credit Into Welfare

A renewed effort to expand the child tax credit (CTC) is currently making its way through Congress. The proposed policy would increase benefits for low-income families—especially those with multiple children—automatically grow the credit with inflation, and most contentiously, eliminate the work requirement for families who had earnings in the prior year. In debating these changes and even…

January 26, 2024

Please Congress: Make Fiscal Sanity a Priority

Sometimes I don’t understand Republicans in the House of Representatives. When they are threatening government shutdowns, they make a great show of saying their highest priority is getting a handle on out-of-control federal spending, reducing the deficit, and bringing down our national debt. And yet, when an obvious opportunity falls in their lap to reduce…

January 19, 2024

The Work Incentive and Employment Effects of Eliminating the Child Tax Credit’s Annual Income Requirement

Abstract Senior House and Senate tax committee leaders agreed to a framework for modifying the Child Tax Credit on January 16, 2024. The most consequential reform would eliminate the Child Tax Credit’s annual income requirement by allowing individuals to calculate their eligibility using their current or prior year’s income, whichever year maximizes the family’s benefit….

January 17, 2024

Tax Extenders Package Would Cut the Child Tax Credit’s Annual Work Requirement in Half

One of the bills Congress punted to the new year is a package of “tax extenders” normally considered at year’s end when temporary tax laws are about to expire. But the agreement announced yesterday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) is notable for far more than its timing. On the plus side, and to the negotiators’ credit, it’s a…