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Research Archive

January 11, 2024

Tax Credit Nation — Politicians Are Casting New Spending As ‘Tax Cuts,’ Hiding Their True Cost

With the national debt soaring past $34 trillion, liberal politicians hoping to expand the federal leviathan face a conundrum. How can they convince Americans wary of the effects of runaway government spending—painfully evident in recent elevated inflation and interest rates—to nonetheless support even greater expenditures? As President Biden and others demonstrate, one way is to cast new…

December 1, 2023

Cities Use Covid Funds to Run Guaranteed-Income Experiments

Alexandria, Va. Dozens of cities around the country have launched welfare experiments called guaranteed-income pilots to send monthly checks of up to $1,000 to needy people. The goal is to demonstrate that giving the poor direct cash aid can improve their economic stability, their children’s educational attainment, and even their mental health. Most of the…

October 17, 2023

What Poor Children Need

When it comes to helping poor children in America grow up to enjoy successful adult lives, progressives and conservatives each have half the truth on their side. There is strong evidence to support both broad public spending programs and policies designed to encourage personal responsibility and stable households. What is the best way to help…

August 14, 2023

Tracking Plans to Make Pandemic Benefit Expansions Permanent

In 2008, former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel famously said what has come to be known as Rahm’s rule: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” It’s clear that…

August 3, 2023

Another Pandemic Legacy: Removing the EITC’s Work and Earnings Requirement

Since its origin in the 1970s, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has been the premier federal program promoting and rewarding work by low-income adults. As displayed below, taxpayers have devoted rapidly growing resources to the EITC since the 1980s. Overall, between 1975 and 2022, the EITC cost taxpayers a total of $1.8 trillion, which…

July 10, 2023

Reforming the EITC to Reduce Single Parenthood and Ease Work-Family Balance

Sixty years ago, in 1963, 94% of American children were born to married mothers. Today, the figure is only 60 percent. This decline signals a fundamental disruption in the long-standing stability of the traditional family, the foremost institution shaping each generation of children. Using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, I find that in 2021, 40% of…