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Child Tax Credit gimmick explained

Child Tax Credit gimmick explained

Every time the big spending autocrats want to spend more taxpayer money to gain greater political control of the populace, they come up with very nice sounding programs.  The money is to help the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the single parent, education for toddlers, advanced education, crime victims, underpaid teachers, union workers, etc., etc., etc.

Of course, they also like to create what I call the “affluent dependent class” with money for professors, favored businesses, subsidies, real estate developers, industrial farms, etc., etc., etc.

Virtually all that money is spent to buy votes – and there is usually a lot of mischief in how the money is delivered, used, wasted, and embezzled.  The big spenders on the left do not care if you are cheating – or gaming the system – because the crooks will also support those providing even that ill-gotten money.

Democrats are all over the media whining about the opposition to the misnamed and hugely expensive Child Tax Credit.  While the money goes to families with children – or at least to those claiming to have children.  (And yes, we have more than enough examples of people conning the system by falsely claiming their non-existent children.  But that is only one element of the overall problem.)

For all practical purposes, the Child Tax Credit is not directed to the child – or children.  It is simply a grant to the family – a grant totally controlled by the parents.  There is no obligation to spend any of that money on the children.

The left jumped all over West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for arguing that parents could even use the money to buy drugs.  If some parents are doing drugs and desperate for the money to finance the habit, you can bet your nickel bag that they will use the money for drugs … or alcohol … or obsessive buying on the Shoppers Network.  Not every parent is a paragon of virtue.

MSNBC’s Katy Tur suggested that Manchin was insulting the people of his home state – especially, she said, since West Virginia has a major opioid problem.  Whoa!  Am I missing the logic here?  Tur blasts Manchin for suggesting that the Child Tax Credit money might go to drug purchases – and then reveals that there are a large number of addicts in his home state – many of whom would most certainly be parents.  Seems to me that Tur was supporting Manchin’s concern.

In addition to no supervisory protection over the misuse of the money there is another problem.  The money goes to a lot of parents who have incomes way above the poverty level.  These folks might even be called “rich” – capable enough to provide for their children.  That is why Manchin wants the money be means-tested.

Then there is the claim that the current Child Tax Credit has taken more than half of the children out of poverty.  They claim that by looking at the estimated number of children living in families with incomes below the government poverty level.  The added money puts their total income just over the poverty level.  What it does, it takes those who have incomes just a smidgeon below the government-determined poverty level and pushes their incomes a smidgeon over the line.

It does not however establish that the children in those families materially benefit from the slight increase in household income.  There is nothing in the legislation that requires parental accountability for the money.

Under the proposed legislation, it would be possible for two families with incomes below the poverty level to share an apartment and expenses – providing a household income in excess of the poverty level – and still have both families individually get the money for however many kids are in the home.

One of the reasons Biden and the Democrats decided to pass the Child Tax Credit for only one year was to hide the overall expense.  These programs are traditionally extended for ten years because that provides a more realistic cost to the American taxpayer.  

The reason they are not doing that is because projecting just the Child Tax Credit out ten years would reveal the enormous budget-busting, deficit spending, National Debt increasing cost.  They do not want the Congressional Budget Office to be scoring the ten-year program.

Democrats know that if they had passed a one-year program, they would be making the same arguments next year … and the next year … for the extension of the Child Tax Credit program – just as they are making the plea to extend it today.  

Biden & Co. are flagrantly trying to flimflam the American people with this legislative trickery.  To understand what the Democrats are doing, just image you bought your house based on your belief that you only had to pay the first-year mortgage.  That is another reason Manchin refuses to participate in such shenanigans.

While this commentary dealt with the sham of the so-called Child Tax Credit, there are many, many other provisions in the Build Back Better bill that should be objectionable to any fiscally responsible member of Congress.  Thank God that the Democrats have at least one of them.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. frank stetson

    Merry Christmas to you, oh the one who spends Christmas day bashing a program to extend money to poorer families of children……

    FYI: the top ten states receiving the funds are: according to Reuters: “The top 10 states by average monthly child tax credit payments in August – all from the West and Midwest – were: Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Alaska, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Iowa, Kansas and Montana, with monthly payments ranging from $515 to $456 in August. All voted last year for Trump over Biden and all but Kansas have Republican governors.

    Of the 10 states with the lowest average payments, only one – Florida – backed Trump, also having a Republican governor. Massachusetts residents received the smallest average household payment in August: $387.”

    For a state-by-state graphic on the tax credit, see

    While I do agree that a sound financial metric, and consistent analysis metrics and benchmarks should be applied to all programs, is this the place for Larry the support of all things Conservative, even Trump, to make his stand? There’s integrity and then there’s shooting oneself in one’s foot like Bob Dole never taking an earmark. Not sure I’d support a guy who keeps eating his own.

    Thanks for the gift, gotta love that low hanging fruit :>)

    • larry Horist

      Frank … you certainly are impressed with your own retorts. Must be nice to be your own critic. LOL Marry Christmas.

      • frank stetson

        Right back at ya, ole he who advocates taking the food out of the mouth of babes…….mostly Conservative babes in Red areas that voted for Trump…….

        And yes, I do admit that I read my own stuff….and critic, I dunno. Mostly I laugh…..sometimes just at the typos….but yeah, sometimes I am pretty damned pleased with myself and how silly I can be. I am sure you know the typo feeling, it’s a “Marry” one :>)

        The fact does remain though that you feel: “Every time the big spending autocrats want to spend more taxpayer money to gain greater political control of the populace, they come up with very nice sounding programs” to describe a benefit Democrats are pushing, Republicans just say no, that benefits Republicans more than Democrats, on average. Go figure on that.

        And to carry on, cuz that’s what I do…..from MoneyGeek: “KEY FINDINGS:

        Eight of the 10 states most dependent on the federal government were Republican-voting, with the average red state receiving $1.35 per dollar spent.

        Nine states sent more to the federal government than they received — seven of these were Democrat-voting and had higher per capita GDPs than many of the red states that received the most.

        New Mexico had the highest return on federal spending of any state ($4.33), and Delaware had the lowest ($0.63).

        The eight states receiving the highest child tax credit per capita were all Republican-voting.”

        I guess that makes Republicans welfare-dependent ne’er-do-wells feeding at the Federal trough while hypocritically proclaiming states rights and hell-with-BLM-welfare Moms…..he said sarcastically….

        Fact is I believe in giving a hand up and that a rising tide lifts all boats. Children are our future, our biggest asset, and if I can help by giving more, taking less, that’s great. I know you do to but are conflicted with your need to cut spending while turning a blind eye to where the spending is actually going..

        The reason I love you guys is that, sure, this can spin out of control either by initial intention (like BBB), or by time (like the 94 Crime Bill or Welfare in the 90’s.). Perhaps that welfare program was cool in the 80’s, but needed Republican envisioned, Democrat implemented re-engineering as did the Crime Bill in current times. Change is inevitable and we need your voice to help guide us or all we have is Sanders, AOC, etc…..

        I hope the holidays were good to you; bet you love all the Kwanza cracks you can read to your family, sigh, and that Santa has brought you more than you ever could have imagined. Myself, we brought family together for the first Christmas dinner in two years and that alone was the best gift God could grant.

        • Harlow ewing

          If children are out future why are they being murdered in clinics every day? Busted!!!!!!!!

        • larry Horist

          LOL I will concede the typos to you. It is due to the fact that I type fast and have very little interest in wasting time improving my copy to you … and others. Especially considering the crappy grammar AND typos in your comments. It is part of the degradation of the written and spoken language. I sometimes wonder why I bother at all. Did you know that 80 percent of those who read commentaries do not read comments. And that when reposted on other sites, the comments are dropped. That is why I laugh when Bruder criticizes the size of my audience. Hell … even his brother does not read his comments.

          • frank stetson

            Communication cancel culture at it’s finest :>) And yet, you measure the activity……

            My typos are mostly phone, old age, small screen, inability to thumb talk, all my own issues of my own making. Plus, like you a lack of patience. For me, it’s “Forget it Jake, it’s comment-town.” I mean, do you see the name calling cretins I am responded too? It’s not like you’re reading anything more than a bullet point, so why take the time to be 100% proofed?

            Crappy grammar though, hmmmmm, I would think less so, but OK.

            How about you conceding the fact that the bill you want to kill advantages your side of the aisle more than mine; i.e. you are suggesting that you shoot yourself in the foot —– constituency wise. Put that in your Little Blue Book and smoke it :>)

  2. frank stetson

    Busted? Because you are not sure IF children are out (sic) future? Or that children can’t be our future because they, in your most elegant words: “they being murdered in clinics every day?”

    I am so sorry for you IF you don’t believe children are our future OR if there are clinics, then children are not our future. Such a sad state of affairs for you and yours.

    But, of course, it has nothing to do with what I was saying, what Larry is saying. It is a red herring. I mean whether there are clinics or not, the money still goes where it goes, Larry still has a problem with it, and you are still talking about something completely different. A red herring. f

    So explain the “busted” mythbuster…..

    Where do these people come from?

  3. Ben

    I never understood why America makes parenting, already a difficult proposition, even more so with these archaic policies. No family leave, no insurance, no day care subsidies… why wouldn’t we want to make it as easy as possible to raise children?

    Don’t want kids? Back 30 yrs ago, as a young married couple, both working full time jobs ( military and office manager) we were barely above the poverty line and had to pay $55 a month because our insurance wouldn’t cover birth control. So even though we were both working full time, and knew we couldn’t afford to have another child, we couldn’t really afford to prevent having another one either. But insurance will pay for boner pills.

    Regardless of what the parents spend the money on, having more money in the house hold is a good thing. Even if they use it for drugs as you are concerned about, that money goes back into the economy. There’s less thieving, less crime, more money for everyone. A legit return on our investment.

    Once again, when it comes to blowing brown people up, Larry isn’t concerned about the price tag, but when it comes to helping American people, all of the sudden Larry is concerned about how much it costs. I never understand that logic. You have obviously forgotten how difficult it is to raise a young family. When you’re as old as Larry , and living in the ivory tower, hobnobbing with the elites, I know it’s hard to remember the struggle.