On Wednesday, 15, 2021, over 400 prominent economists outlined their strong support for a permanent extension of the CTC. In part they said:
“Childhood poverty is a staggering problem in the United States, affecting approximately one in seven children, and one in five children of color, even before the Covid-19 pandemic began. Children growing up in poverty begin life at a disadvantage: on average they attain less education, face greater health challenges, and are more likely to have difficulty obtaining steady, well-paying employment in adulthood. A panel of experts convened by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that because. of such effects, childhood poverty costs the country between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion each year.”
The economists represent a large group of experts, some from past administrations and prominent institutions and universities. The letter outlines the broad impact that a CTC can have across a range of childhood issues.
The letter takes on proposals by some more conservative elements who have argued, new mandatory work requirements as a condition. “…a design feature that limits such effects is that the expanded CTC amount would not phase out until high levels of earnings; thus, most families would not see their CTC amount decline if their income rises.” They go on to point out studies that suggest that the income provided through the program is unlikely to reduce parental labor supply meaningfully. They cite the National Academy of Sciences study that concluded that a universal child allowance would have a negligible effect on employment.