Republicans could have written the tax bill they’re rushing through Congress to make relief available to some of America’s neediest families—those making less than $25,000 annually. Instead, those families are being cut out of getting an increased child tax credit for parents, from $1,000 to $2,000 annually per child. Meanwhile, those able to claim that increased credit will be expanded to include families that take home as much as $580,000 annually. The Washington Post writes:
Despite urging from some conservative Republican senators, the bill would largely limit the benefits of its more robust “Child Tax Credit” to families who pay income taxes. That means the new increase would be almost entirely unavailable to working parents who only pay payroll taxes, which fund Medicare and Social Security, but do not make enough over the year to pay income taxes. The average annual salary of the family who would fail to qualify for the full increase in the benefit is $25,000, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-of-center think tank.
While the plan would leave these poor families out of the full CTC, it would also extend it to some middle-class and upper-middle class families. Under current tax law, CTC’s benefits start declining once families make more than $110,000 annually. The latest Senate bill would expand eligibility to families earning up to $580,000 annually for married families with two children.
The upshot is that families in the middle and toward the top of the income distribution stand to gain significantly more from the CTC expansion in the GOP bill than the working poor.
Every new thing we learn about this tax bill stinks to high heaven. Every new detail is a slap in the face to the people who need the most help while those who need the least help reap the biggest rewards.
It’s hard to imagine how Republicans could have authored a crueler bill and yet, they are in the process of making it even worse to win over holdout votes.