The Evidence for Strengthening the Child Tax Credit
Housing & Homelessness Poverty & Family Economics Tax Policy
The coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic crisis are falling hardest on the most vulnerable among us, including our nation’s children, especially children of color. It is disrupting every facet of children’s lives and we cannot yet know all of the negative and long-lasting implications they will have on children’s future success.
Child poverty is stubbornly high in the United States and we continue to have higher rates of child poverty than many of our peer countries. Child poverty disproportionately hurts children of color as systemic and institutional racism keeps children and families in poverty for generations. And now, the public health emergency and economic downturn may cause child poverty rates to spike by as much as 53 percent, with the highest rates for Black and Latino children, due to widespread job and income losses, meaning more children will be put at risk of long-lasting harm to their healthy development. We are at a pivotal moment to enact lasting, structural policy change, such as strengthening and expanding the CTC, to address both the persistently and unacceptably high level of child poverty and the racial disparities among children living in poverty. We have an obligation as a society to address these glaring inequities, and we know how to make progress. Ample research tells us that strengthening and expanding the Child Tax Credit and converting it into a monthly child allowance is one of the most effective ways to address child poverty and improve child well-being. Even better, modest changes to the CTC will help increase income and wealth and help the 50 percent of Black and Hispanic children who are left behind and do not qualify for the full CTC or even a partial credit. Monthly cash payments also help parents and guardians meet the rising costs of raising children, support their healthy development, and boost the economy.
Below is a list of resources from the children’s advocacy and research community that shows extensive evidence as to why strengthening and expanding the Child Tax Credit and converting it into a monthly child allowance is necessary to tackling child poverty across the United States and improving the long-term outcomes of all our nation’s children.
- Supporting children and families through the pandemic, and after: The case for a US child allowance — Columbia University Center on Poverty & Social Policy / Center for the Study of Social Policy, August 2020
- A Better Child Tax Credit During the COVID-19 Crisis – The Century Foundation, May 2020
- Why the Child Tax Credit Must be Expanded to Fight Child Poverty During and Beyond this Pandemic – Children’s Defense Fund, May 2020
- Economic Security in Good Times and Bad: COVID-19 Demonstrates Why We Need a Child Allowance – Center for the Study of Social Policy, March 2020
- The Case for Cash Allowances for Children during Economic Crises – Columbia University Center on Poverty & Social Policy, March 2020
- Comparing Recent Income Maintenance Proposals – Columbia University Center on Poverty & Social Policy, February 2020
- Left Behind: The One-Third of Children in Families Who Earn Too Little to Get the Full Child Tax Credit – Columbia University Center on Poverty & Social Policy, May 2019
- Ending Child Poverty Now – Children’s Defense Fund, April 2019
- A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty – the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, February 2019
- Implementing a Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty – First Focus Campaign for Children, June 2019
- The Case for a Universal Child Allowance in the United States – Cornell Policy Review, October 2018
- A Child Allowance: The Big Anti-Poverty Impacts of Small Amounts of Cash – U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, April 2018
- A Universal Child Allowance: A Plan to Reduce Child Poverty and Income Instability among Children in the United States, – Russell Sage Foundation, February 2018
- Cash Assistance and Tax Credits: Critical Supports for Infants, Toddlers, and Families – ZERO TO THREE, October 2017
- Family Tax Policy: A Path Forward to Lifting Children out of Poverty, U.S. Child Poverty Action Group, March 2017
- Toward a Universal Child Benefit – Niskanen Center, October 2016
- Doing More for Our Children: Modeling a Universal Child Allowance or More Generous Child Tax Credit – The Century Foundation, March 2016
- Catching Up on the Cost of Raising Children: Creating an American Child Allowance, First Focus, March 2015
- Tackling Poverty Through the Implementation of a Child Allowance Program, First Focus March 2015