On Jan. 22, Dolores Avecedo-Garcia (HS), the Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and the Director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, wrote about the effects of expanded credit expiration for American families on Jan. 15. Avecedo-Garcia writes this article in the publication “The Hill” alongside Richard Besser, the president and chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
According to the article, families throughout the nation relied on monthly payments from the expanded Child Tax Credit in order to feed, clothe and safely house their children. The article elaborated that the credit expansion was from $2,000 to $3,600 dollars for children under six years old, and from $2,000 to $3,000 for children aged six to 17.
The article cited that this expansion had a drastic impact on the state of impoverished families throughout the expansion. There was a 24 percent reduction in families that reported struggling feeding their families, and a 30 percent reduction in child poverty rates, according to the article.
The article also stresses that the assistance from this act is crucial since families of color, children and low-income households have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which was then later tied in to the broader idea that policy choices similar to the expiration of the expanded child tax credit can lead to higher rates of chronic disease and shorter lives in the aforementioned populations, according to the article.
Despite the expiration of the program, the article stresses that the expansion provides a glimpse into the policies that can be used to reduce childhood poverty and that a longer-lasting expansion should have even more dramatic effects on the population. Specifically, the article cites various studies that project a reduction of childhood poverty by 40 percent if the expansion lasts for a year or longer.
Moreover, the article claimed that even though expansion of the Child Tax Credit is a step in the right direction, no single policy would be able to eradicate poverty by itself. Instead, the article states that other interventions such as a permanent increase in the supplemental nutrition assistance program should have a high impact on impoverished families as well, and also by taking advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit as well.
The article concludes by acknowledging the difficulties of securing a temporary extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, though the rest of the article affirms that this is an ideal that we should strive towards.