The greatest return on investment is our children. Child Tax Credit is one of the most successful policies to help families look after and support children
And in the American bailout, Democrats expanded that important tool and made it work better for poor to middle-class families.
The investment has paid off. Millions of children have been lifted out of poverty, food insecurity has decreased, and more middle-class working families have received support for basic expenses like child care and school supplies. Raising a child is always difficult, but during a pandemic, parents face economic uncertainty and increased demands, and the tax credit expansion allows parents to meet those demands.
Even for those Americans who do not consider themselves poor, they are increasingly under pressure and find the "American Dream" increasingly out of reach. The expanded child tax credit makes the American dream more accessible to them and their children.
Democrats accomplished this by increasing the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 for children age 6 and older and $3,600 for children under six. The loan is fully refundable, meaning low-income households with tax-deductible income can avail the full loan. Failure to pay means that poor families in my area and across the country cannot access this much-needed assistance.
According to one estimate, only half of black children benefited before these major reforms. But our expanded credit made it available to the most vulnerable, ultimately lifting millions of children of color out of poverty. But the truth is that the enhanced child tax credit has helped middle-class families die out.
We've also made it possible for parents to purchase these tax credits in monthly installments, which has helped parents cover day-to-day expenses so they don't have to wait until tax season to claim the credit. It turns out that extra support really comes in handy when it comes to paying the bills.
This investment not only benefits our children but also our economy. According to the Joint Economic Commission, credit expansion creates a $19.3 billion economic impact on our domestic economy each month.
As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I am proud to see this legislation passed. It's my life's work, which is why I've sat at this table and worked for years. I was very sad when this loan expired. After it ended, food insecurity increased and millions of children fell into poverty. I have heard from families in my area who have told me about the impact these monthly payments have had in my office.
But Congress is not helpless. As legislation approaches the end of the year, Congress should take the opportunity to restore the expanded child tax credit. What Congress does now can brighten our children's futures and improve health and educational outcomes, including lower odds of chronic disease, higher school outcomes, and better reading and math outcomes.
By restoring the expanded child tax credit, we can give children more opportunities to succeed. We can't help it.
Gwen Moore represents Wisconsin's 4th District and is a member of the Ways and Means Committee.
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