Child Tax Credit Needed More Than Ever | Opinion


One of the many questions pending in Congress right now is whether to extend the current child tax credit payments that have been paid monthly since July. Meanwhile, the current high inflation rate is one of the reasons some members of Congress are reluctant to endorse this or other measures that are part of the Build Back Better policy proposals. However, the rate of inflation is, in fact, a good reason to approve an extension of the expanded child tax credit.

Inflation is essentially the equivalent of a regressive sales tax, a tax that hits low-income people harder than higher-income people. Consider a family of four who spends $ 100 per week – about $ 400 per month – on food. If this family has an income of $ 2,000 per month, food represents 20 percent of the family’s income. But if the family has an income of $ 4,000 a month, food is only 10 percent. Likewise, such a family with an income of $ 10,000 per month would spend only 4 percent on food.

Thus, as inflation increases the cost of food, it takes a larger share of the budgets of low-income families than of higher-income ones. If a 5% inflation rate lowers the monthly cost of food from $ 400 to $ 420, that extra $ 20 is 1% of the income of the family earning $ 2,000 per month, 0.5% of the income. family that earns $ 4,000 per month and only 0.2% of family income that makes $ 10,000 per month.

And that’s just food. Families with children also face other costs prone to inflation, including rent or mortgage payments, clothing, gasoline, auto repairs, insurance, child care, and expenses. school.

Some people wonder if the high inflation rate is just transient or long term, but that doesn’t matter to people who struggle to keep a roof over their heads, their children in school and to pay their bills. public services. The monthly children’s tax credit helps them offset the growing costs caused by the pandemic.

Whether inflation is short or long term, the enhanced child tax credit is needed now. Hopefully, Senator Joe Manchin and his congressional colleagues will help American families by adopting the extension of the child tax credit.

– Brenda Isaac is a registered nurse and lives in Charleston, WV. She is a retired school nurse and is an active member of the West Virginia Association of School Nurses.

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