Many 1990s policies were grounded in harmful, erroneous ideas such as financial struggles are due to personal shortcomings and less government is better. Lawmakers didn’t apply these ideas consistently, however. For example, there was no drive to reduce corporate welfare even as policymakers slashed the safety net and disinvested in lower-income communities. So, it’s not surprising that a bipartisan group of lawmakers concluded during that era that the CTC was an appropriate vehicle to give higher-income households a tax break while leaving out poor children.
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package, the American Rescue Plan, includes a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The president’s proposal provides a $125 billion boost in funding for the program, which would essentially double the size of the existing federal credit for households with children. Combined with existing law, the CTC provisions in Biden’s plan would provide a 37.4 percent income boost to the poorest 20 percent of families with children who make $21,300 or less a year.
On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden announced that his tax plan would include a provision passed by House Democrats to temporarily expand the Child Tax Credit (CTC), potentially lifting millions of children out of poverty.
Estimates from ITEP show that this change would benefit most families with children—more than 83 million children live in households that would benefit if this was in effect in 2020—but the most dramatic boost would go to low-income families.