Children out of poverty❓

The economic aid, which was intended to help keep families afloat amid the pandemic, included two centerpiece components for households: the direct checks of up to $1,400 for lower- to middle-class individuals and an expanded child tax credit, worth up to $300 per child per month. It was initially seen as Mr. Biden’s signature economic policy achievement, in part because the tax credit dramatically reduced child poverty last year. Polls suggested Americans knew they had received money and why — giving Democrats hope they would be rewarded politically.

New York Times October 16, 2022

The poverty rate for children in the U.S. has surged since monthly government checks from the expanded Child Tax Credit ended in December, according to a recent study Columbia University researchers.

MoneyWatch 2-24-22

I find this all quite curious. The tax credit was given to adults in families. Calling it a child tax credit doesn’t change that. The tax credit lifted every person in the household out of poverty at the same rate – temporarily even though the benefit went mostly to middle income Americans. It did not change the economic status of the family. It did not increase their income on an ongoing basis. There were no criteria for how the money was to be spent.

In short, the entire concept is misleading and creates a false sense of accomplishment


  1. There was a time when I would have resisted taking the money – but not any longer. While the attitude may seem bizarre, I know that if I don’t, it’ll only be to my own detriment. Money means almost nothing nowadays, thanks to politicians trying to buy votes. All it did for me was help me get out of debt (except for the house).

    Bet they didn’t think about the consequences of their actions, i.e. trillions of new money in the economy, turn it off, inflation hits, people are worse off than before.

    And remember, it started when the Republicans were in the White House so don’t solely blame the Democrats.

    But I will be voting mostly Libertarian next month (or against those who run uninterruptible ads on YouTube – my 19 year old son’s idea. I love it!). Money can’t buy me love – or votes.


  2. I do not know much on how that program was administered. Did they get a check each month or did they get a credit / refund check when they finally filed their taxes the following year? If it worked like regular child tax credit, the benefit would have been seen as a windfall when they got their refund checks so I don’t know have it lifted them out of poverty each month.

    In 2019, the effective minimum wage for the US was $11.80. In New Jersey, the minimum wage was raised to $13.00 on January 1, 2022 and will be at $15.00 by 2024. That is a $1.20 over the minimum wage and is an additional $192 a month or almost 2/3 of that $300 child tax credit was for just this year. By 2024, only 15 months away, they would in theory, before all this inflation eats away at their buying power, would have been lifted out of poverty by earning an extra $512 a month over 2019. Many other states are also raising their minimum wage rate.

    Of course what is poverty? If the minimum wage is truly the minimum you need to live on then why are so many government program based on figures so much higher?

    As an interesting side note while looking for some facts, I found the 2022 NJ school lunch income tables. NJ has figures for household sizes up to 27. I think at that point they should offer free birth control instead of reduced or free school lunches. I also truly believe that a family of 27 earning $170 /yr would be in poverty too. I also believe that many of them would be out of school. To get a family of that size would out do the Brady Bunch.


  3. Simple. One official measure includes the credit, the other does not. Poverty always a household measure. So yes, you can manipulate the official poverty measures with temporary tax credits.

    OK with me if the Biden Administration gets credit for lowering child poverty say 20% from say 20 Million to say 16 million, so long as they also get the blame for raising the rate 25% when the credit lapses – probably leaving the family in a worse financial condition.


  4. The article spilled the beans when it said Americans knew that Biden and the Democrats were responsible for them receiving the money. Hence it is a thinly veiled vote buying scheme and they don’t care one bit whether the money helped the kids or went for booze and dope for the “Americans”.


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