We looked at various pieces of the big COVID-19 relief package that is running through the House of Representatives, which may be up for a vote later this week, as well as some ways in which tax law changes are to be used to provide economic relief on the pandemic.
Yesterday we told you about a planned expansion of the earned income tax credit, and today we’re going to take a look at what the child tax credit aid package would do.
Eligible families receive a tax credit once a year for each child under the age of 16 when they file their taxes. According to the Democratic proposal, they would receive monthly payments as early as this summer and their overall benefits would increase.
“So it’s going to go from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000 for all children and then to another $ 600 for young children,” said Katherine Magnuson, who heads the Poverty Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Another change? Right now, some of the lowest-income families are missing out on some of the benefits.
“If you don’t have a full tax bill, you won’t get full credit,” said Magnuson. After that suggestion, they would.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says the United States has one of the highest child poverty rates in developed countries. Several analyzes estimate that these changes could lift 5 to 10 million children out of poverty.
“The children who are not currently getting full credit are mostly low-income children, many in poverty and many either black or Latin American,” said Katherine Michelmore, who teaches public administration at Syracuse University.
But like the proposed $ 15 minimum wage, there are questions as to whether this should be included in a pandemic answer calculation.
Maya MacGuineas from the Committee on Responsible Federal Budget supports the idea of credit expansion. But: “It is a policy that should be structured for situations that exist outside of the COVID crisis. And it is a policy that is so important that it is permanent, permanent and has to be paid for, ”she said.
MacGuineas points to a proposal from Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney that would broadly revise funding for child poverty programs.
What is the outlook for vaccine supply?
The executives of the American COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers promised in Congress to deliver the doses promised to the US government by the summer. The confidence projections come after months of supply chain challenges and companies falling short of year-end projections for 2020. What has changed? In part, the normally competing drug manufacturers are now helping each other. This has helped solve several problems in the supply chain, but not all.
How has the pandemic changed scientific research?
While some scientists turned their attention to COVID-19 over the past year and developed vaccines to fight it, most of the others have had to pause their research – and wonder how to do it. Social distancing, limited lab capacity – “It’s less fun, I have to say. For me, the big part of science is discussing science with other people and getting excited about projects, ”said Isabella Rauch, an immunologist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Funding is a big question for many too.
What happened to all the dangers important workers faced at the start of the pandemic?
Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, key workers were hailed as heroes. At the time, many companies were giving Hazard Pay, an additional $ 2 an hour to get to work. That went away quietly for most of them last summer. In the absence of federal measures, it was mostly up to local governments to draw up programs and mandates. They helped compensate frontline workers, but they weren’t perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re bit by bit, ”said Molly Kinder of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You see these innovative popups because overall we have failed to do something systematically.”
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