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THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Joe Biden hopes to halve child poverty with a monthly tax credit for parents, but Republicans worry that the payments will discourage families from working. 

Eligible parents — and nearly all are eligible — will receive $250 per month for kids 6-17 and $300 for children under 6. They can check the IRS site to see if they qualify or figure out how much they’ll get here.

“This would be the largest ever one-year decrease in child poverty in the history of the United States of America,” the president said. “Millions of children and their families, starting today, their lives are about to change for the better. And our country would be better off for it as well.”

The first payment may already be in your bank account via direct deposit — more than 85% will get them that way — and was part of Biden’s COVID-19 relief package. Biden wants to make the payments permanent. But Republican lawmakers don’t seem willing to support that idea, at least not at the same level. 

“Not only does Biden’s plan abandon incentives for marriage and requirements for work, but it will also destroy the child-support enforcement system as we know it by sending cash payments to single parents without ensuring child-support orders are established,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement Wednesday.

Other lawmakers, such as Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), were pushing low-income families to register for the credit, even if they don’t owe taxes. The IRS already planned to host outreach efforts this weekend in 12 major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, New York and Las Vegas. 

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated the start of the payments Thursday afternoon. 

“The American family got so much stronger,” Harris said.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Cash for Kids Comes to the United States – The Atlantic – 7/14/2021
Beginning this week, the IRS will start sending monthly, no-strings-attached cash payments to an estimated 65 million children living in low- and middle-income families, potentially slashing the country’s child poverty rate by 45 percent. Yet more than half of likely voters said they knew “little or nothing” about the program in a May poll conducted by Data for Progress.

Tax wealth, reward work – Brookings – 7/14/2021
The middle class has seen slow wage growth over the past 40 years. The second, third, and fourth earnings quintiles have seen median wage growth of seven, six, and 13 percent, respectively. Further, wages are the main source of income for middle-class families—more so than for the affluent, who get some of their income from capital, or for the poor, who receive a much higher share of their income from government transfers.

How the Potency of Social Wages Can Beat Back Neoliberalism – In These Times – 7/14/2021
If the Families Plan — part of what Biden describes as ​“human infrastructure” — becomes law, she’ll get that CTC money for another five years and her preschooler will get free pre‑K public education, freeing Harri from paying for day care. Add it all up, and Harri’s income will be topped up by $6,600 and she’ll be saving $8,000 a year on day-care costs. 

It’s time to make these expanded tax credits permanent – CNN – 7/14/2021
Even before the pandemic, hard work wasn’t paying off for many workers. In recent decades, the cost of living has only gone up, leaving families, especially families with children, strapped for cash and living paycheck-to-paycheck. In 2019, one in eight families with children lived in poverty — nearly three times the rate for families without children.

The Democrats Need a Reality Check – POLITICO – 7/11/2021
If you’re looking for a microcosm of the burdens weighing on Democrats, look at what happened last week when the Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s new voting laws. A state legislature and a Republican governor passed those rules into law. When they were challenged, a conservative Supreme Court upheld them by a forbidding 6-3 majority. And in its decision, the Court strongly hinted it would look favorably on the voting restrictions imposed, or underway, in a dozen other states.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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