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According to a Report, an Expanded Child Tax Credit Would Generate Enormous Dividends!

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According to a new NBER analysis, federally financed child assistance programmes deliver long-term advantages that outweigh expenses.

Researchers from Columbia University and Open Sky Policy Institute examined the long-term benefits created by cash and near-cash transfer programmes such as food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Children’s educational attainment and many beneficial health outcomes, as well as parents’ health and lifespan, are among the benefits.

Less expensive programmes including health care, child protective services, criminal justice, and other social welfare programmes were also compared.

Averaging between five and ten times, the researchers determined that the advantages of practically all cash-transfer systems outweigh the expenses.

But the study had some significant flaws. For starters, the researchers lacked data on effect variation by wealth. A very low-income household will certainly gain significantly more from $1,000 than a middle-class one, but the researchers had little insight into the implications for different income levels.

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No one knows how quickly the good effects fade as monetary transfers grow. The first $1,000 of aid likely has a greater impact than the second or third thousand, but experts don’t know how much.

Dems’ Child Tax Credit Analysis The researchers compared the costs and advantages of a permanent refundable child tax credit proposed by the Biden White House to a temporary programme featured in the American Rescue Plan in 2021 that expired in December.

As calculated by the authors, the programme would cost around $97 billion per year while producing over $982 billion in overall benefits, “very significant net returns for the US population.”

Child Tax Credit

The researchers determined that the health and longevity of children are worth $424 billion.

Even in terms of income, the programme is a net positive, increasing future incomes for children by an estimated $270 billion. Public health expenditures are expected to fall by $16 billion, but overall crime costs are expected to fall by $208 billion.

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After accounting for all savings and increased expenses (such as higher Social Security payments for longer-lived recipients), the researchers estimate net savings for taxpayers of $135 billion.

This benefit-cost ratio is comparable to other child-focused investments including high-quality preschool programmes, public schooling, and Medicaid, the researchers say.

Better child care would also benefit: A separate research from the liberal think tank The Century Foundation concludes that the Democrats’ Build Back Better bill’s proposal to finance child care and universal pre-kindergarten would have considerable individual and social advantages.

The proposed initiative would pay both service providers and parents directly to increase child care options and reduce costs. The study concludes that better child care would benefit families, companies, and communities by billions of dollars.

The proposed child care scheme would raise overall economic output by around $48 billion by allowing more parents to return to work, increase business and government tax revenue by $60 billion by reducing disruptions caused by child care issues, and increase employment by about $30 billion.

Children’s healthy development, family economic stability, gender and racial fairness are all supported by the child care and universal pre-kindergarten policies being examined by Congress. “This analysis demonstrates they are critical to state economic growth and prosperity.”

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