Update on Cash Welfare

On June 14, Bruce D. Meyer testified before the Senate Finance Committee on proposals to transform the child tax credit into a fully refundable child allowance.

Meyer first presented a summary of the historical evidence on tax and benefit changes for low-income Americans, showing that pro-work policies enacted in the 1990s (including the child tax credit) have reduced poverty dramatically, increased employment, raised living standards, and reversed a 30-year trend of rising single parenthood.

By contrast, he said a fully refundable child allowance would likely reverse the gains of welfare reform, and run the risk of repeating the result of past policies that encouraged dependence, while discouraging work and strong family formation.


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