The Reformicon Child Tax Credit Is Not Refundable
The Reformicon tax plan is super unfair. It purports to be interested in compensating parents for the future payroll taxes of their grown children, but then it doesn't do that. Instead, it gives rich parents way more money than poor parents even though that doesn't make any sense if the goal is to pay parents for their childrens' payroll taxes. Here is the difference in payments two hypothetical set of two-child families would recieve under the plan over the course of their kids' childhoods:
In a recent piece, Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig makes this basic point about how unfairly these benefits are structured:
Since the poorest often file no tax returns at all, a tax credit could amount to literally nothing for them. Those who do file tax returns but make very little are consequently awarded very little in non-refundable, credit-based programs. Yet the children of poor women cost no less than the children of women who would receive meatier benefits from a tax-based system, and the regularity of monthly payments is much more amenable to the actual struggle of child-rearing than a lump sum each April.
In response to this point, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry wrote that Bruenig "mischaracterized" the Reformicon plan, saying the followig:
It is indeed true that most poor households file no tax returns at all, which is why the child tax credit advanced by Sen. Lee and reformocon writers before him is refundable against the payroll tax, which is paid by all working Americans including those who do not pay income tax, as well as the income tax.
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