By Derek Monson
Published on October 26, 2017

1. “Retired folks and childless people end up paying for someone else’s child.”

The fact is that parents are currently subsidizing retirees and childless adults by raising children, and they will continue to do so even with a larger child tax credit. First, parents subsidize retirees through thousands of dollars each year in payroll taxes, which pay for retirees’ Social Security checks. Second, parents pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise their children, who then become the employees who pay for the Social Security checks of today’s childless adults once they retire. For childless adults, the child tax credit is an investment in their future retirement. Expanding the child tax credit simply makes things a little fairer to parents by recognizing how their sacrifice makes a secure retirement possible for everyone.

2. “This is just another form of wealth redistribution.”

The main impact of the child tax credit is to let working and middle-income families keep more of their own money. Raising a child costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, so even with a larger tax credit, having children reduces parents’ wealth. For society, however, well-raised children are the source of future economic growth, community leadership, and a financially secure retirement for everyone. Since parents are going to spend plenty of money raising children regardless of tax policy, it only makes sense for society to offer some financial relief to parents in order to help today’s children (and tomorrow’s taxpayers) thrive.

3. “People with kids should have to pay just as much in taxes as the rest of us.”

Parents pay taxes just like everyone else does. But unlike childless adults, parents have taken on the responsibility of creating and raising future taxpayers as well. Like any responsible adult would do, responsible tax policy should consider prosperity and security in the future, as well as the present. That is exactly what the child tax credit does. It recognizes that parents are raising the next generation of leaders, workers, job creators and citizens – that children are the reason we can have a future worth looking forward to. By giving parents a little tax relief as they build our future, we help ensure that future will become what we want it to be.

4. “This is another handout from the federal government.”

Raising a child costs parents hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of a child, even with the child tax credit. Expanding the child tax credit – letting parents keep more of their own money – encourages self-reliance and independence from government welfare programs. Expanding the child tax credit will make it less likely that a family ends up on welfare. By contrast, the need for government handouts increases when the government takes so much money from families that they can no longer support themselves without being on welfare. If the concern is about growing government handouts and welfare programs, expanding the child tax credit is part of the solution.

5. “This tax credit will only lead to increased national debt.”

The national debt is a long-term problem, and it won’t be fixed in any case with the current tax reform legislation. However, if today’s children do not become productive adults and responsible citizens – the job creators and community leaders we need to even begin to address this difficult problem – it is certain that we have no hope of fixing our national debt problems over the long term. Expanding the child tax credit is part of the solution to our national debt problem, because it offers the kind of tax relief to families that helps parents raise their children to become productive adults and responsible citizens. There are many things that make it harder to solve our national debt problem, but the child tax credit is not one of them.

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