Chldren Left Behind

Much has been made about the Republicans not expanding the child tax credit to certain low-income families. Except the truth is not what it seems – it was the group who insisted on a $350 billion cap on the tax relief passage that doomed the bill.

House Republicans, who acknowledged the gap on the child credit, blamed the Senate for insisting on its $350 billion cap, saying the low-income families could have been covered had the Senate been more flexible.

A spokeswoman for the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, Christin Tinsworth, noted that the provision was included in an agreement reached last week by Representative Bill Thomas, Republican of California, the committee chairman, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

That agreement would have cost $380 billion, but it fell apart when an important swing senator, George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said he could not approve any bill that exceeded $350 billion. To satisfy him and the Senate, Ms. Tinsworth said, the child credit provision was dropped, along with other costs.

If the moderates on both sides of the aisle who agreed on this provision were so concerned about the children, they could have easily raised the cap to allow all families to recieve the additional benefits. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas has even proposed a move that would have raised the cap on what families could have recieved, but she later voted against the package.

There is a clear double standard here. Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans insisted on an absolute $350 billion cap on the tax relief package. The primary purpose of the package was economic growth, and it’s already been made clear that child tax credits have a negligable impact on overall economic growth. (Even the Democrats made this argument in 2001 for the first Bush tax package.) If they wanted to make expansion of the child tax credit a priority they could have. They did not, and now they’re using their own agreement as a way of attacking the GOP.

If the Democrats want to increase the child tax credit, let’s see them propose a bill with no riders or extraneous increases or modifications to the previous tax bill onto the floor of the Senate. If they are unwilling to put their money where their mouth is, it will show that this entire issue was solely for political gain and not out of any concern for the American taxpayer.

One thought on “Chldren Left Behind

  1. Here’s a wild concept. Instead of the $350 per child tax credit being the first thing to be gutted to keep the bill under the $350 billion threshold, perhaps the cutting could have from somewhere else. Perhaps the dividend tax cuts that you stand almost alone among people not directly associated with the Bush administration in projecting to cause any real-world economic stimulus. Virtually all studies show that dividend tax cuts are dead last on the list of generating a return on the government’s investment. It’s just a giveaway.

    While I don’t support any tax cut with our current budget situation, the tax credit for poor working families with children was the only part of the bill that would have any potential to generate stimulus to the economy. Now, the entire multi-billion dollar budget-busting bill will merely go into wealthy people’s savings accounts, meaning that BUsh is one giant step closer to the national bankruptcy of his dreams.

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