Skip to main content

Research Archive

March 4, 2024

Social conservatives who care about marriage should think twice about a “per-child” refundable Child Tax Credit

The United States Senate is currently debating H.R. 7024, a House-passed bill that would modify the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in several ways. One of the most consequential changes would increase the rate at which the refundable portion of the credit phases in, from the current 15% rate applied to all families to 15% times…

February 28, 2024

Reform the Safety Net to Counter the Economic Challenges Facing Women Considering Abortion

Chairman Whitehouse, Ranking Member Grassley, and committee members, thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Leslie Ford and I am an Adjunct Fellow in the Center for Opportunity and Social Mobility at the American Enterprise Institute. My research focuses on vulnerable families in our safety net and pathways out of poverty to…

February 27, 2024

Options for Improving the Child Tax Credit Provisions in H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024, passed the House on January 31, 2024 and now faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. The bill is intended to offer something for both Republicans and Democrats—business tax cuts and an expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). But this bargain—which…

February 20, 2024

The New Right’s Attack on Markets Is as Ignorant as the Old Left’s

In The Next American Economy (2022), Samuel Gregg provides a refreshing defense of free markets, emphasizing the need to frame the case for economic liberty within a broader narrative about America’s values and identity. We need this book to help reframe the disagreement over trade protectionism and industrial policy. Gregg opens by examining the alignment between former…

February 12, 2024

Millennials Are Doing Better than You Probably Think

“Each generation is worse off than the one before.” It’s one of the primary tenets of the notion that American capitalism has failed and that we live in the final days of “late capitalism.” But have things really been all downhill since the Boomers became adults? Maybe not, according to the new study “Has Intergenerational…

February 6, 2024

Research by a Top Biden Administration Economist Reinforces the Importance of Work Incentives in the Child Tax Credit and the Safety Net

For the past two years, economist Jacob Bastian has been the main researcher dedicated to trumpeting the virtues of a child tax credit (CTC) expansion. Writing first as an economist from academic perches at Rutgers and Princeton, later as an affiliate of moderate think tanks like the Niskanen Center and the R Street Institute, and…

January 31, 2024

The Wyden-Smith Child Tax Credit and Work: Responding to Critics

The Wyden-Smith tax bill under consideration in the House has rekindled a debate about the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and work incentives. We, along with our colleagues, Angela Rachidi and Matt Weidinger, recently released an analysis of the incentives built into one overlooked feature of the CTC reforms proposed in the bill—the so-called “look-back” provision….

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 15, 2024

The Economy Is Good. Why Do Consumers Feel So Bad?

As we approach another federal election cycle, there will be a lot of talk about the state of the economy. Are Americans better off, economically speaking, than they were when President Biden took office three years ago? Despite our having lived through a pandemic and the resulting unprecedented economic shocks, it still should be a…

January 12, 2024

When It Comes to the State of the American Economy, Let’s Keep It Real

Here we go again. An oft-repeated economic claim on social media is that most Americans lack the means to cover a $400 emergency expense. More evidence that most of us in “late capitalist” America live paycheck to paycheck. Indeed, another common claim on social media is that nearly 80 percent of US workers live paycheck…