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May 30, 2024

The Contradictions in Democrats’ Child Tax Credit Expansion Promises

Politicians regularly vie for the support of parents with promises of good schools, bigger family benefits, and tax relief. President Joe Biden did just that last week in calling for increased funding for public education, child care, and more. Sometimes just the language of the proposal—like the president’s call to expand the child tax credit (CTC)—appears to…

May 23, 2024

Vast Vote-Buying Strategy — ‘Like We Have Never Seen Before’ — Is Laid to Democrats by North Dakota’s Governor

Governor Burgum of North Dakota — a potential running mate with President Trump — is warning that, under the Biden administration, there is “vote-buying going on at a scale like we have never seen before.” Mr. Trump simplifies the charge to just “they get welfare to vote.” What’s the evidence behind those allegations?  The case could start…

May 8, 2024

Beltway Liberals Are Playing Name Games to Expand the Welfare State

Higher prices aren’t the only kind of inflation coming out of Washington these days. Wildly inflated group names are on the rise, too — and they’re being used as a tool to expand government welfare benefits given even to able-bodied adults without dependents. That’s the term long used by the Department of Agriculture to describe those in their prime working years…

April 4, 2024

Biden’s ‘Tax Cut’ Rhetoric Is Really Just Code For Benefit Increases

President Biden’s rhetoric about his new budget proposal suggests it is full of tax relief for working families. For example, one White House fact sheet is headlined “The President’s Budget Cuts Taxes for Working Families and Makes Big Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share.” Taking from the rich to give more to working (and even non-working) families is a…

February 9, 2024

Resolving to Learn Lessons from Record Pandemic Fraud

Congress doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but if it did, digesting our new report on pandemic fraud would be a good one. Released last week, the new report (“Pandemic Unemployment Fraud in Context: Causes, Costs, and Solutions”) details the how and why of record unemployment benefit fraud during the pandemic. Enacting even some of our policy resolutions…

January 11, 2024

To Better Promote Work, Stop Subsidizing More Benefit Collection

Never shy about lampooning government dysfunction, Ronald Reagan famously said that if you want more of something, subsidize it. But even the Gipper couldn’t have imagined today’s growing zeal to subsidize getting more people on government benefits, which undermines work and leaves too many on the sidelines of the economy. Welfare programs achieve that dubious distinction…

July 26, 2023

How Worker Benefits Turn into Welfare

The disparity between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends was never greater than during the pandemic, when annual deficits peaked at $3.1 trillion in 2020. Even today, when the president swears Bidenomics is “working everywhere,” annual deficits exceed $1.5 trillion, and are expected to only grow. One little-noticed driver of record deficits was…

June 27, 2023

House Republican Plan Penalizes Marriage

If there was something liberals used to hate most about welfare reform, it was policies that promoted more work and smaller welfare caseloads. For example, during debate about 1996 reforms, Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) asked what would happen to families if they didn’t meet proposed work requirements: “Do we put them on trains and send them out West?” Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) said those reforms “can only encourage a…

May 3, 2023

Work-for-Welfare Gains Traction Among Republicans

Last week, U.S. House Republicans included expanded work requirements for Medicaid, food stamps, and cash welfare benefits in their legislation to extend the federal debt limit. As employers continue to struggle to find workers, states, too, are trying to prod benefit recipients on the sidelines of the economy back into work. Republican members of the Wisconsin assembly recently approved a…