Five Reasons the Child Tax Credit Shouldn’t Have a Work Requirement

Source: Niskanen Center
by Samuel Hammond

“Unconditional child benefits have historically faced an uphill battle in the U.S. given concerns over the potential that they disincentive work. As recently as the 2016 election, then-candidate Hillary Clinton proposed a significant CTC expansion that still phased in with earnings. This was simply following the conventional wisdom that her husband established 20 years earlier with welfare reform: namely, that transfer programs should always be tied to work, implicitly or explicitly, in order to promote self-sufficiency and thus genuine poverty alleviation. In the decades since, however, anti-poverty experts have realized that we in many ways over-learned the 1996 welfare reform’s success at promoting work among single mothers.” (10/01/21)