You may wonder why the debate over sticking up for middle-class families matters. As millennials, chances are we will most likely be in a middle-class family shortly, if we aren’t already. Despite the fact that millennials are getting married later than their predecessors, both marriage and children will probably still happen in our lives — regardless of our current attitudes on the subject. And if you think you’ll just cross that tax bridge when you get there, you’ll likely end up drowning. The last major tax reform was in 1986, and the current reform under debate is the closest thing we will have to getting a personal say in how our money gets taxed for a long time.
Even if we end up being part of the minority of those who don’t marry and don’t have children, our neighbors’ children will someday be our doctors, our lawyers, our presidents … not to mention the workers who will pay for our Social Security checks. We will want them to be competent (my favorite doctors, lawyers and presidents are the competent ones). Competent adults start as children in homes and communities where enough financial resources give them opportunities in life — homes where parents aren’t being crushed by taxes and communities where even those without children recognize the importance of standing up for the next generation.
The proposed child tax credit expansion on the table should boost the hopes of every individual in favor of a functional society. You may not be the direct beneficiary of the child tax credit, but you will benefit indirectly, and you’ll benefit in ways more valuable than money. As the up-and-coming generation, we can step forward to take the responsibility for carrying on this functional society. And it starts by implementing changes such as this: ensuring middle-class families can give their children an opportunity to succeed by increasing the child tax credit in our next tax reform.