The U.S. Treasury Department and IRS started sending out the first batch of monthly child tax credit (CTC) payments last week to millions of families as part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill.
About 35 million families that include almost 60 million children received payments that totaled about $15 billion, the Treasury said.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, American working families are receiving monthly tax relief payments to help pay for essentials like doctor’s visits, school supplies, and groceries,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a news release. “This major middle-class tax relief and step in reducing child poverty is a remarkable economic victory for America – and also a moral one.”
The payments are part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law enacted in March and include an expansion of the child tax credit for 2021. Subsequent payments will generally be made on the 15th of each month through the end of the year. Eligible families will receive monthly payments of up to $300 for children under 6 years old and $250 for children 6-17, The Hill reported.
While the payments are temporary until the end of the year, the number of Americans receiving a monthly check from the government has skyrocketed to 65 percent.
Matt Bruenig @MattBruenig, founder of the left-leaning crowdfunded think tank People’s Policy Project, tweeted, “With the new CTC, the number of people living in households that receive a monthly check from the federal government rocketed from 28% to 65%.”
It is not clear to whom Breunig attributed the numbers he was quoting. He accompanied his tweet with an image of an outstretched hand and a Fox News logo but provided no link to the information source.
It is the first time in history that more than half of all Americans would be on the federal dole, John F. Cogan and Daniel L. Heil wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal. Cogan is author of “The High Cost of Good Intentions” and a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Heil is a policy fellow at Hoover.
But this is just the start of Biden’s plan for an “entitlement nation,” said Cogan and Heil.
Biden “intends to make it a lot bigger. His American Families Plan—which he recently attempted to tie to a bipartisan infrastructure deal—proposes to extend the reach of federal entitlements to 21 million additional Americans, the largest expansion since Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society,” they wrote.
There are several new entitlement programs included in Biden’s proposed American Families Plan, such as the government paying the entire cost of community-college tuition and coverage of all daycare expenses above 7 percent of family income for children under age 5.
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The entitlements aren’t just for needy and low-income families. “Two-parent households with two preschool-age children and incomes up to $130,000 would qualify for federal cash assistance for daycare,” Cogan and Heil pointed out.
Under the American Families Plan, an additional 21 million Americans would become federal entitlement beneficiaries, according to an analysis by Cogan and Heil.
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