Parents who received monthly child tax credit payments were more likely than the average voter to approve of President Joe Biden last year, but in fact they could have become less likely to endorse Biden after checks stop.
Survey data suggests Biden’s approval was 4 percentage points higher among parents when payments began in July, according to researchers from Fighting Chance for Families Action, a project of liberal groups Data for Progress. and Groundwork Collaborative.
As Biden’s approval among likely voters plummeted last fall, the apparent boost from the child tax credit also waned. But after the unexpected stoppage of payments in January, the “CTC effect” actually turned slightly negative, but not to a statistically significant degree.
“While not massive, these effects are clear at the margins – extremely important in policy,” Fighting Chance for Families Action researchers Colin McAuliffe, Ahmad Ali and Ethan Winter wrote in their report.
A four-point increase in parental approval, such as the payments might have initially provided, would represent less than one point overall, since most voters do not care for minor children. But parents of school-age children have been a particularly prominent constituency in national politics over the past six months, with Republicans saying public schools abuse children and trample on parental rights.
Democrats said they believe expanding the child tax credit would create a ‘sacred bond’ between parents and the federal government similar to how Social Security retirement benefits turned seniors into a powerful electoral blocmaking the benefits politically almost untouchable.
The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum value of the credit to $3,600 for parents of children under 6 ($3,000 for children under 18) and asked the IRS to distribute l money by monthly advance payments, even to parents without tax liability and without earned income. In fact, the credit has become the kind of monthly child allowance that is typical in other countries.
But the payments suddenly stopped after six months without a major upheaval, even though Democrats had promised the money would continue and stopping it would drive up child poverty. Thirty-six million households have been left behind; several relatives says HuffPost they felt betrayed.
The unexpected demise of the expanded child tax credit resulted from Sen. Joe Manchin’s (DW.Va.) refusal to accept his party’s Build Back Better Act, which would have extended the benefits for another year. Manchin particularly disliked the credit, saying the parents wasted it on drugs.
Early research suggests that the expiration of the benefit has, in fact, increase in child poverty by 40%. Since the easiest way to reduce poverty is to give people money, the easiest way to make it worse is to take the money away.
After payments stopped, parents of young children experienced increased material hardship and financial instability, according to a new analysis of census data by researchers from Poverty Solutions, a University of Michigan research initiative.
Food insufficiency rates – defined in the report as a survey respondent saying that there was sometimes or often “not enough to eat” in their household during the previous week – had been consistently higher among parents of minor children during the coronavirus pandemic. The Child Tax Credit narrowed the gap, which widened again in February after the credit disappeared. A similar trend is observed for parents who say it has been “very difficult” to pay basic expenses.
In other words, Congress has put low-income families on a poverty rollercoaster. But the economic impact of child benefit comings and goings has been mostly ignored in Washington, where the threat of inflation has taken center stage.
“While much attention has been paid to the impact of rising prices on families’ ability to afford basic necessities, the impact of the expiration of monthly CTC payments is much clearer” said Patrick Cooney, Luke Shaefer, of the University of Michigan. , and Samiul Jubaed written in his report.