WASHINGTON — Last week’s inflation report means one thing, the high cost of goods and services will remain a problem in the United States for some time to come.
Some economists say the United States could be in for another six months of high inflation, while others fear it could last much longer.
Social Security checks will be bigger for older Americans next year — but is there any relief in sight for parents who are still working?
EXTENDED CHILDREN’S TAX CREDIT?
Parents of children probably remember the Extended Child Tax Credit quite well.
It was a program created in 2021 that lasted only in that calendar year.
Congress allowed it to expire.
The program provided a $3,000 tax credit to parents with a child age 6 or older.
Parents with a younger child received a check for $3,600.
About half of that is given in monthly payments to parents — deposited directly into bank accounts.
The payments added up quickly.
In fact, census data shows that child poverty fell by 40% last year, in part due to tax cuts.
Well, the debate has begun to potentially revive a version of extended credit in the coming weeks.
WHY THE CHANGE?
Currently, the usual $2,000 annual child tax remains the law of the land.
However, a number of Democrats and even some Republicans have suggested that the credit must be higher.
Remember that the expanded child tax credit went away because the Democratic leadership couldn’t get Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia or any other Republican on board without making major changes.
Well, now, Democrats seem more open to bringing back a version of it even if it means lower pay qualifications, new work requirements or lower payouts.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, as well as Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, are two conservatives who have indicated they may get involved if changes are made. Meanwhile, Democratic senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Michael Bennet of Colorado have threatened to block a vote on business tax credits in the coming weeks — unless there is another serious debate on the child tax credit.
Expect all of this to intensify next month.
The period after the election and before the new congress takes over is usually referred to as the lame duck period.
However, congressional leaders are already planning several key votes during that time.
The child tax credit debate could potentially be included in one of those votes.
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