Parents who got monthly child tax credit payments were more likely than the average voter to approve of President Joe Biden last year, but it is possible that they became less likely to favour Biden once the checks stopped coming in after the checks ceased.
In a survey conducted in July, researchers at Fighting Chance for Families Action found that Biden’s approval was 4 percentage points higher among parents than when the payments first began,
according to the researchers. Fighting Chance for Families Action is a project of the liberal group’s Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative.
Since the election of Barack Obama, Biden’s approval rating among likely voters has declined. As a result, the perceived benefit of the child tax credit has decreased as well.
Nevertheless, after the payments were abruptly halted in January, the “CTC effect” shifted slightly in the opposite direction, though not to a statistically significant degree.
“While not significant, these effects are seen at the margins — which is incredibly important in politics,” academics Colin McAuliffe, Ahmad Ali, and Ethan Winter said in their paper for Fighting Chance for Families Action.
Because the vast majority of voters are not responsible for minor children, a four-point increase in parental approval, such as the one that the payments may have initially delivered, would equate to less than one point in total approval.
The Republican Party has claimed that public schools harm children and violate parental rights over the previous six months, and parents of school-age children have been an unusually important constituency in national politics during that time.
In a statement, Democrats stated that they believed the expanded child tax credit would create a “sacred bond” between parents and the federal government,
similar to the way Social Security retirement benefits transformed seniors into a powerful voting bloc, making the benefits virtually untouchable politically.
The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum value of the credit to $3,600 for parents of children under the age of six ($3,000 for children under the age of 18) and directed the Internal Revenue Service to distribute the money in advance monthly instalments — even to parents who had no tax liability and no earned income.
It effectively transformed into the type of monthly child stipend that is common in other nations.
However, the payments were abruptly terminated after six months without causing any significant disruption,
despite the fact that Democrats had claimed that the money would remain and that its cessation would result in an increase in child poverty. Parents who spoke to HuffPost said they felt deceived since 36 million families were left without electricity.
When Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) refused to sign onto his party’s Build Back Better Act, which would have extended the benefits for another year, the enhanced child tax credit was forced to expire without warning.
Manchin was particularly critical of the credit system, stating that parents spend money on drugs.
Children’s poverty has increased by 40 per cent, according to preliminary findings of research conducted since the benefit’s termination.
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The simplest method of alleviating poverty is to give people money; conversely, the simplest method of making poverty worse is to take away the money.
According to a new analysis of Census data conducted by experts at Poverty Solutions, a research programme at the University of Michigan, parents with young children have faced significant material hardship and financial instability after the payments were discontinued.
During the coronavirus pandemic, rates of food insufficiency — defined in the study as a survey respondent reporting that there was either occasionally or often “not enough to eat” in their family during the previous week — were consistently higher among parents of minor children.
The child tax credit helped to close the difference, but the gap had increased once more by February when the credit was no longer available. Parents who stated that it has been “very challenging” to pay for basic necessities followed a similar pattern.
In other words, Congress put low-income families on a roller coaster ride of poverty and adversity. However,
in Washington, where the prospect of inflation has taken centre stage, the economic impact of the child benefit’s introduction and discontinuation has largely been overlooked.
According to Patrick Cooney of the University of Michigan, “While much emphasis has been focused on the impact of rising prices on the capacity of families to pay for basic necessities, the impact of the expiration of monthly CTC payments is considerably more obvious.”