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The Fiscalization of Social PolicyHow Taxpayers Trumped Children in the Fight Against Child Poverty$
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Joshua T. McCabe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190841300

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190841300.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 October 2020

The United States

The United States

Tax Relief for Families

(p.145) 6 The United States
The Fiscalization of Social Policy

Joshua T. McCabe

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 looks at how the National Commission on Children brought attention to the problem of child poverty in the US, leading to the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit in 1993 and the introduction of the nonrefundable Child Tax Credit in 1997. In contrast to the cases of Canada and the UK, the growth of these tax credits, tracing their legacy to the dependent exemption in the tax system, was premised on the logic of tax relief rather than the logic of income supplementation. Originally, the National Commission on Children released recommendations for a fully refundable Child Tax Credit as the best way to tackle child poverty. This served as a successful springboard in Canada and the UK. This was not the case in the US, where the logic of tax relief remained dominant. Initial attempts to introduce a fully refundable Child Tax Credit quickly failed. Policymakers and the public deemed poor children undeserving of tax credits because their parents were not technically taxpayers.

Keywords:   Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, National Commission on Children, Contract with America, welfare reform, Family Research Council, Christian Coalition, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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