Expand the Child Tax Credit

The US spends $740 billion a year on defense. It can afford $350 billion a year on a safety net for families.

Peggy O'Mara
3 min readSep 30, 2021


Photo by lolostock

President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan is a $7 trillion plan. It includes:

  • American Rescue Plan ($1.9 trillion) It passed on March 11th.
  • American Jobs Plan ($1.2 trillion) Some of its proposals have passed the Senate.
  • American Families Plan ($3.5 trillion) The American Families Plan, which includes the Child Tax Credit as well as the Medicare expansion, is now included in the Budget Reconciliation Bill that is currently under negotiation in the House.

We have the money

An expansion of the Child Tax Credit was part of the American Rescue Plan, passed in March, and families have been receiving monthly payments since July. The Budget Reconciliation Bill, now under negotiation, includes both an extension of the tax credit until 2025, and permanent refundability, which means all families will receive it regardless of income.

The Child Tax Credit has already begun to reduce poverty. In an August study from the Census Bureau, families with children reported that they had more to eat and were better able to pay household expenses since the child tax credit payments arrived.

The US has the money. It spends 200 times more on military spending each year than the annual cost of the American Families Plan. While 9% of the US federal budget is spent on children and families, almost double, 15%, is allocated for defense spending.

Here are some numbers that just don’t add up

  • Annual cost of the American Families Plan: $350 million
  • Annual US Defense Budget in 2021: $740 billion
  • Annual US Defense Budget in 2000: $320 billion

The Pentagon budget today is bigger than it was at the height of the Cold War under the Reagan administration, which was famous for its military buildup. It’s higher than it was at the height of the Vietnam War, which was a war where tens of thousands of American troops died, and was a much bigger military involvement than anything we have going on…



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.