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.