The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Will the Child Tax Credit End?

Oct 25, 2021

Monthly payments of $300 per child to parents of children five and under, and $250 a month for each child age six to 17, have been sent by the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) since July 2021. Payments are due to end on December 15, 2021. The I.R.S. estimates that 88% of families with children qualified for at least some help from the American Rescue Plan Child Tax Credit program.

These stimulus payments were a temporary change in the previous $2,000 per child federal income tax credit. For one year only, amounts were increased to $3,000 each for older kids and $3,600 for kids age five and under. The total money was split in half. Half of the money paid up front in six monthly installments and the other half comes on the back end as a tax refund in 2022.

Research has shown this tiny increase to the social safety net has helped slash hunger rates among children. Yet negotiations aimed at passing the Build Back Better budget “deal” in Congress make it appear this program will be funded for one additional year only.

If you work for a living and your family got these monthly tax refund payments, this was your money to begin with. That is because the money the I.R.S. has to distribute comes from wages and not from corporate profits—from the tremendous wealth that workers’ labor produces, and companies take.

Essentially, the government repackaged workers’ same tax money in a slightly different way—but now is talking about taking that away!

Research in the U.S. shows that having money that subsidizes costs for preschool-age children increases the chance that mothers keep working. Compared to 17 other wealthy countries, the U.S. federal government ranks dead last on annual spending per preschool-age child.

While maneuvering politicians are planning to finalize the budget by robbing children of what they need, workers’ plans can be to create a whole new system that puts society’s wealth toward what children and the working class need!