The Cornerstone of Pro-Family Economic Policy is Per-Child Tax Relief.
In the 1994 midterm elections, conservative Republicans were swept into Congress after a campaign centered on the “Contract with America.” A hallmark of this agenda was reducing the tax burden on working families by creating a Child Tax Credit, which Republicans succeeded in doing with the enactment of the Taxpayer Relief Act on August 5, 1997.
Twenty years later, the American people have once again given Republicans in Congress the opportunity to reform the tax code, which is outdated, overly complex, and unfair to working families. The upcoming debate about tax reform should be grounded in the realities they face every day: a fixed budget, stretched paychecks, and tough choices about putting food on the table and participating in kids’ sports leagues.
As the party of working families, Republicans must not let this opportunity go to waste. We must ensure comprehensive tax reform includes specific and meaningful tax relief for parents. After all, families are the fundamental building blocks of our communities, and the health of our society depends on families being able to provide safe and secure homes, raise active citizens, and love their children unconditionally in ways no other social institution can. Families are how values are passed on from generation to generation. We simply cannot have a strong nation without strong families.
Unfortunately, the rising costs of housing, food, health care and child care means it is more expensive than ever to have and raise children. Meanwhile, our federal tax code treats parents unfairly by effectively taxing them twice, discouraging family formation. In addition to payroll taxes on their paychecks, parents also bear the cost of raising the next generation of workers whose earnings will fund federal retirement benefits. This is an outdated framework that enriches government and special interests instead of empowering parents to make the best decisions for themselves and their children, and we must modernize it if we want to help more people succeed and achieve the American Dream in the 21st century.