The real reason Biden's child poverty gambit failed
Popular programs are durable, but the CTC didn’t stand a chance
The biggest disappointment of the Biden administration has been the failure of the Enhanced Refundable Child Tax Credit.
This policy, like all policies, had some design flaws as implemented, but it did tremendous good for America’s children and families during its year-long existence. And I think it had the potential to lead to some broader reforms of the welfare state, reforms that could make the safety net more efficient but also more generous, address the country’s lingering child poverty problems, tackle child care in a way that doesn’t founder on the rocks of the culture war, and advance racial justice through a broad program of universal solidarity.
Instead, we got a one-year program that contributed to inflation and expired with nothing left to show for it.
That was a big blow, and I think it’s important to try to understand exactly what went wrong, in part because every administration’s decisions are heavily influenced by their understanding of what went wrong the last time their party was in power.