Lead us not into temptation: How the Child Tax Credits creates healthier families

Source: Niskanen Center
by Samuel Hammond & Audrey Xu

“As a refundable credit, the CTC represents a cash benefit for low income households to spend on a wide variety of goods. Families, the worry goes, risk spending the CTC on temptation goods such as alcohol and tobacco, rather than investing in their child’s health and wellbeing. Motivated by this concern, policymakers in the U.S. often favor anti-poverty policies that subsidize certain goods or services, rather than simply giving direct cash assistance. … The CTC’s flexibility as a cash benefit, far from a problem, is instead a positive attribute of the program.” (07/15/21)