This change alone would reduce child poverty by an estimated 40 percent. But this change is not alone. The US bailout also triples the value of the tax credit for low-income workers with no children, gives more than 17 million Americans a benefit of around $ 1,500, and establishes a tax bill that currently penalizes childless workers for low-wage jobs.
Biden’s relief plan also provides for a major expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the form of larger subsidies for Americans who purchase health insurance in the statutory marketplaces. This would reduce the number of uninsured people in the United States by more than four million, according to an estimate by the Urban Institute.
The list of new directives continues. The American rescue plan includes money to expand grocery stamps, bolster state welfare programs, and increase federal support for childcare and dependents. Taken together, the bill is expected to reduce overall poverty by more than a third and child poverty by more than half. It is, without exaggeration, the most important poverty reduction law since the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, which is itself the signature program of a man who has tried to mimic FDR
In fact, I’d say the American bailout is cheap compared to the FDR’s first 100-day signature laws in that its price of $ 1.9 trillion is compared to the mere $ 10 billion (in inflation-adjusted dollars) that Congress in the earliest period of the year dwarfs New Business. The challenge is very different – a global economic crisis and the associated unemployment and unrest over a health crisis and its economic impact – but the ambitions are of similar magnitude.
Indeed, the story of this bill could be the story of Biden’s opposition to austerity for much of the past decade, as well as the anti-aid paradigm he helped shape when he was Senator in 1988 before “Welfare Mothers Driving Luxury Cars “And voted in 1996 to make the so-called welfare reform a reality.
The American rescue plan is just a start. Since the administration has been constrained by the budgetary vote process, many of its provisions need to be made permanent. That said, there is still a lot of work left for the Biden government and the democratic majorities that currently exist in Congress. Much of it depends on whether the Senate will reform itself to allow a majority.
Even so, we can and should recognize that, as Biden once said of Obamacare, this bill is a very big deal for the country. And we can at least be a little amazed at the course of his political career as this accomplished, centrist and proud bipartisan dealmaker begins to move in somewhat unexpected directions.
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