This morning I began the process of filing my annual tax return. While doing so a recurring thought came to mind. In my few days on this site I’ve gained a great deal of appreciation for the intellect of those on the site so I decided to share my controversial thought and see what some of you think of it.
I believe that our government should eliminate the child tax credit (credit). In my opinion, our government has, for decades, been incentivizing bad choices when it comes to the decision to have a child or not. Given the extraordinary moral and economic costs to our society that usually results from someone choosing to have a child they cannot care for without government assistance I personally believe that government needs to stop making it easier for people to have children. If a person really needs the credit to support their child they should not have had that child in the first place.
Unfortunately, raising a child is much more of an expense than many people acknowledge when they decide to have one. I have no idea if eliminating the credit would influence people’s decision-making process, but I think it’s worth a try. In some states more than half of all births are paid for by Medicaid. Eliminating Medicaid and SCHIP would only serve to punish innocent children. So, I’m proposing to eliminate the credit in hopes that doing so will make people think before they have children that will become the taxpayer’s financial responsibility.
You think that young lust will be deterred if there is no Child Tax Credit?
You think Religious Fanatics will stop having 8-19 children if it were abolished?
Somehow I doubt it.
What it will do is take an extra 1000 out of my pocket.
I admit when I first learned I was pregnant with my last child, I did not think far enough ahead.
I did not plan for the contingency that gas would be 200% higher in 11 short years,
(Despite the perfect teeth in both our families), She would require braces,
Healthcare costs would jump 150%, while pay raises remain at 3%
That her father's employer would sell a very lucrative business and "downsize" all current employees.
I should have thought about all this I know
but the only thing I could think about was seeing his blues in another beautiful human being..
And the payoff of an extra 1000 bucks a year in my child tax credit.
Greed-It's the New American Way
When I put out topics for discussion I do so knowing that some people are going to be angered by what I’m putting forth. Having said that, my goal is not to make people mad. All I want is to discuss government policy from a total societal view.
The problem with the Child Tax Credit is that it incentivizes or rewards bad decisions and punishes people who make better decisions. Estimates show that it takes more than 200,000 dollars to raise a child until they’re 18 years of age. If a couple isn’t sure they will have that money it’s not wise for them to be having a child.
Lastly, it does bother me that I, as a childless taxpayer, pay much higher taxes than someone who has had more children than they can adequately care for. That results in my indirectly subsidizing their child. How is that fair?
I am saying your "hope" is in vain.
So, I’m proposing to eliminate the credit in hopes that doing so will make people think before they have children that will become the taxpayer’s financial responsibility.
I am not saying it is fair. That is a different issue.
An issue I probably would NOT have commented on
I do not use public beaches, but my taxes pay for it.
I do not go to college, but my taxes susidize it.
I have never used Amtrak
Never been on an airplane
Never grown corn, sugar or any other crop that gets US subsidies
I will never be able to afford to own a car that uses ethanol.
My taxes pay for these things, in one way or another and I am OK with it.
It's not fair, to me, but I believe it makes me a good citizen AND I might use these services..sometime.
But it could just be the Bleeding Heart Liberal Socialist in me :)
Peggy makes good points. I am in favor of simplifying the tax code but I would add these arguments in opposition to your proposal:
1. These children will end up paying taxes eventually that will finance everyone's social services including those with no children.
2. Who takes care of the elderly with no children? Other people's children.
3. The proven way to lower the birth rate among the poor is education.
4. I have never met anyone for which the tax credit was a consideration in the decision to become a parent.
5. Low income populations have less money to tax so the tax credit has little or no impact.
6. The birth rate in the US is decreasing as it is.
+1 for this and your previous comment.
Flattery will get you everywhere. I come from an occult background that had me believing at one point that the deity worshiped by Christians and Jews was the Gnostic Ialdabaoth. It was easy for me to believe in this. I looked around me and saw such abject misery in the world no good omnipotent God would be so tyrannical and, well, downright evil in creating it. The antinomian Gnostics -- Cainites, Ophites, for example -- thought that the Bible should be turned on its head. Thus, Cain was far superior to Abel because Abel could never have murdered and was God's favorite of the two. Knowledge of one's capacity for murder makes non-believers more moral than those who fear God but murder all the same, then apologize to God to get into God's "Kingdom." That this scenario is so holey with fallacies it leaks like a sieve need not be pointed out to those like us who swim against the tide.
All of the Gnostic sects believed that bringing a child into a world of evil, a world where matter itself was infused with evil, was itself the most evil act a couple could commit. If I were to return to Christeranity tomorrow, I would found a Church of Judas. Judas of Kerioth is the perfect Gnostic saint. Then, again, I recall the bombings in Birmingham in the last century....
I get what you're saying, but I don't think it will stop people. On a side-note, our son turned 17 last summer and we were unable to get the child tax credit for him. Why? Wasn't he still a dependent since he was not considered an adult yet? It didn't cost us any less to raise him last year. Not complaining, just wondering who made that rule up.
I’m not at all against paying taxes; in fact, I take very few of the deductions I qualify for. Every year I pay more in taxes than I am required to. In some years my tax bill has been thousands-of-dollars higher than it could have been. While I support smartly reducing government spending I’m aware of the fact that an increase in tax-related revenue is needed for us to balance our budget. So, I don’t mind paying taxes.
When I was in law school I used money from the Social Security for the Blind program to help pay my rent. I appreciate the help the tax payers gave me at that time of my life and I feel an obligation to do what I can to pay back into the system now. So, I have nothing against government assistance. I do, however, object to relying on government assistance as a plan when determining how someone’s going to raise a family. Government assistance is something that must be used responsibly.
Everyone who pays federal taxes supports things they do not use. Even more objectionable is the reality that all of us pay to support many things that we wish our taxes did not support. During the war in Iraq I was very angry that some of my taxes were going to support something that I personally found so upsetting. Supporting things we don’t agree with is another thing we must accept to live in a government that at least pretends it’s a democracy.
While I understand that completely eliminating the Child Tax Credit will have almost no immediate effect on the behavior of people I’m hopeful that over time not having the Credit will get people to think about the expense involved in raising a child. There are far too many people having children who simply cannot afford to care for them without government assistance. That statement doesn’t mean that I fail to recognize the reality that accidents, illness, the loss of a job and things that simply couldn’t be planned for don’t cause people to need government assistance. So, I have nothing at all against government assistance or people who need it. Since eliminating programs that help families care for already-born children would cause the children extreme harm I believe we need to do whatever we can to encourage people to consider the cost of having children before they have them. If eliminating the Credit can be a step in that direction I’m all for eliminating it.
We cannot compare Social Security and Medicare with the federal income tax collection system. They are vastly different programs that were designed to accomplish very different things. Everyone who works pays into Social Security and Medicare. Only about 50 percent of workers pay federal income taxes. So, there’s only about a 50 percent chance that every child who is born will actually be a federal taxpayer. Simply having children doesn’t mean that each of them will become a taxpayer.
While it’s true that America’s birthrate is decreasing it’s also true that our birthrate is much higher than Western European nations and Canada.