Democrats Give Parents Another Reason Not to Work w/ boosted child allowance
Among the many, many welfare programs included in President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” proposal is a plan to give parents $3,600 for kids under the age of 6 and $3,000 for kids between the ages of 6 and 17.
The benefit – which was previously $2,000 per child – is fully refundable for parents who paid no income tax in 2021. In other words, a parent who did not work in 2021 is eligible to receive $7,200 if he or she has 2 children under the age of 6.
“Millions of families are trapped in a chasm between stagnant incomes and rising costs,” argues Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO).
I’m all for giving tax breaks to parents, but actually refunding the amount is just another welfare program like food stamps. With the money delivered to parents as a monthly check, we’re essentially looking at a new form of universal basic income.
As PBP has discussed many times, universal basic income is guaranteed to drive people out of the workforce. We saw the same thing happen during the pandemic when the government offered boosted unemployment benefits that provided Americans with more cash than they could have made working full-time at minimum wage. The restaurant industry still hasn’t recovered.
Despite the evidence, Democrats claim the enhanced child allowance would help parents pay for groceries and other essentials and would not convince them to quit their jobs. It is ‘ridiculous to think parents would quit their jobs in droves due to the child allowance,’ wrote Senator Sharrod Brown (D-OH) in a letter to the Wall Street Journal.
However, according to an analysis conducted by economists at the University of Chicago that was cited in the WSJ article with which Mr. Brown took issue, Democrats’ plans to convert the child tax credit into a universal basic income could drive up to 1.5 million people (2.6% of working parents) out of the workforce. This would be more than tragic for businesses already struggling to find employees in the wake of the pandemic.
If the enhanced child allowance were to persist for 10 years, we’re looking at a price tag of nearly $1 trillion.
And as noted by Matt Weidinger of the American Enterprise Institute, roughly a quarter of the program’s funding would go towards refunds, not tax cuts. This is the very definition of welfare and would contribute to the entitlement state progressives are so bent on achieving (read more on that here).
Sending checks to parents also threatens to interfere with crucial state programs that identify child abuse, notes the WSJ article. “Checks on autopilot will mean more children in homes attenuated from society, houses ‘with the shades down.”
Author’s Note: Welfare programs were always meant to be a temporary fix. This is something progressives fail to understand.