Who likes and opposes Mitt Romney’s family allowance scheme


Senator Mitt Romney’s family allowance proposal is garnering support from a variety of sources.

Earlier this month, the junior Utah Senator, a Republican, unveiled a plan to send families a monthly check of $ 350 for preschoolers and $ 250 for school-aged children. As the Deseret News reported, his proposed Family Security Act would consolidate a number of complex programs to provide the cash benefit at a deficit-neutral cost.

The New York Times editorial board recommended Tuesday that Biden’s one-year proposal to help struggling families in America “borrows a few pages” from Romney’s proposal. The editorial board likes that Romney’s proposal is meant to be a permanent reconfiguration of policies designed to tackle child poverty and help struggling families, among other features. A selling point, the board notes, is that the benefit would be administered through monthly checks distributed by the Social Security Administration, rather than relying on the Internal Revenue Service and the tax code to come up. helping families.

America would not be innovative in terms of family allowances. “The average developed country provides single parents with direct aid equivalent to about 14% of median income, and two-parent households with aid equivalent to about 5% of median income, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,” said the New York Times. York Times editorial.

“The United States is at the bottom of this table. Only Turkey provides less aid to families, ”the newspaper added.

In announcing his plan, Romney noted that the change is overdue. “We haven’t completely reformed our family support system for nearly three decades, and our changing economy has left millions of families behind,” he said in a written statement. “Now is the time to renew our commitment to families to help them meet the challenges they face as they undertake (the) most important job we have ever done: raising the children of our society. “

He also said the measure could address concerns raised as marriage and birth rates are at historically low levels. If families had more resources, those who would like to have more children might be more confident to do so.

These are two aspects that Lyman Stone, a researcher at the Institute for Family Studies, finds appealing. He told Deseret News that while he could change some details of the plan if he conceives it, Romney’s proposal provides solid help to families. And he fears that when women cannot have the number of children they want, they will miss out. And the same is true for society more generally, as there are downward ramifications for the birth rate, including potential negative impacts like a smaller workforce that might struggle to provide. what is needed for a vibrant economy or a strong social safety net.

Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy said the American Family Act, the Democratic proposal backed by the Biden administration to provide families with similar support, albeit for a year, would almost halve poverty. children in America. Romney’s plan is meant to be a permanent overhaul of existing benefits, so is expected to have a more permanent impact on child poverty. But Democrats have hinted that they hope adapting their proposal to a single year will get it passed, and then popular support will lead to making it more permanent.

Here is a sample of the media reaction to Romney’s proposal:

  • “A bold plan” that “would significantly reduce child poverty,” is the description of Melissa S. Kearney, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, and Diane W. Schanzenbach, professor of social policy and director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern. University, in an editorial for The Hill. They noted that the poverty line for a mother and her two children is only $ 20,598 per year.

Among the “main benefits” they see is the replacement of complex tax credits while maintaining the pro-work function of the earned income tax credit. They warn “that a work-based safety net is not well designed to buffer families during recessions and that it essentially punishes children whose parents cannot find work”, two characteristics that have been identified. not found in Romney’s proposal.

On the negative side, they said, Romney’s plan would make matters worse for some working single mothers and they oppose his idea of ​​taking $ 3 billion in food stamps.

  • “Romney’s idea may seem like a blessing to parents of children 17 and under. Now here’s the catch. He wants to pay for his proposal by eliminating three popular tax breaks. First, it would remove the head of household status, so that a single parent with children would have to file a single return with less favorable tax brackets, ”writes Joy Taylor of Kiplinger.

She notes that parents would also lose part of a tax credit for childcare expenses for children under 13, as well as the deductibility of state and local taxes in the federal tax code.

  • “Romney has issued a challenge not only by proposing major new policy to tackle child poverty, but by proposing a way to dramatically simplify the welfare state. Democrats would miss a major opportunity if they rejected Romney’s simplification measures because his comprehensive plan is not generous enough for their liking, ”wrote Vox’s Dylan Matthews.
  • Joya Misra, professor of sociology and public policy at the University of Massachusetts Amhert, wrote in The Conversation that Richard Nixon, “who embraced cultural conservatism”, made a similar proposal in 1969 to help cover the costs of education of children.


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