Should Congress Make the Expanded Child Tax Credit Permanent?

Cash would alleviate poverty and could help pay tuition, but some see downside risk in costs and unintended consequences.

Infants sitting on a pile of money

The American Rescue Plan Act enacted in March 2021 expanded the child tax credit to as much as $3,600 a year for children under six and made it fully refundable and perhaps payable in advance. At least some are hailing the credit as something close to a school voucher, saying the money could help pay for parochial school. It would also lift millions of children out of poverty. Should this one-year provision be made permanent law as is? Or are there alternative uses of this federal money or modifications to the policy that would bring better outcomes for children, with a lower risk of unintended consequences?

Matthew Yglesias, a journalist who writes about economics and politics, and Scott Winship, director of poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute, weigh in on these questions.

Photo of Scott Winship


Deprivation Is Not Simply a Material Matter

by Scott Winship



Photo of Matthew Yglesias


Cash Is King in Supporting Families

by Matthew Yglesias

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of Education Next. Suggested citation format:

Winship, S. and Yglesias, M. (2021). Should Congress Make the Expanded Child Tax Credit Permanent? Education Next, 21(4), 66-73.

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