Child Tax Credit is Widely Popular

Peggy O'Mara
8 min readDec 20, 2022

Yet Congress will not extend it.

Image by andreonegin

By almost any measure, the 2021 refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) was an overwhelming success. It drove the largest-ever decline in child poverty in a single year — in 2021, child poverty fell to 5.2%, the lowest rate on record. Making the credit fully refundable was the main driver of the expanded Child Tax Credit’s poverty reduction. Refundable means that it was available to all families, even those who have no tax liability.

If the expanded CTC is not extended, 19 million children from low income families will no longer receive it because their family incomes are too low. Among these are one million children from Veteran and Active-Duty Military families and 33% of children from rural families. Poverty among these children increased once the CTC expired. According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), food insufficiency increased 25% among households with children after the first monthly Child Tax Credit payment was missed.

A June study by First Focus found that 66% of voters think the US is spending too little to address child poverty. They overwhelmingly favor extending the Child Tax Credit — 72% of the public and 77% of parents. This support crosses party and racial lines — 90% of Democrats, 62% of Independents and 55% of Republicans favor extending the expanded and improved Child Tax Credit as do 86% of Black voters, 79% of Hispanic voters and 70% of white voters.

A September study from the Economic Security Project found that 75% of voters favor the Child Tax Credit. And, support is strong among all political parties— 86% of Democrats, 77% of Independents, and 64% of Republicans all favor the expanded Child Tax Credit.

A third study, this one in November from Zero to Three, found that, overall, 85% of parents say it is important for Congress to reinstate Child Tax Credit reforms. Again, this opinion crosses political and also racial lines — 94% of Democrats, 77% of Republicans, as well as 52% of white parents, and 63% of BIPOC parents, all say it is important for Congress to reinstate the Child Tax Credit reforms.

Congressional support for the Child Tax Credit

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Peggy O'Mara

Peggy O’Mara is an award winning journalist. She was the Editor and Publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years. Her focus is Family, Health, and Justice.