Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama proposes increase per-child tax credit: would this please the "empty cradle" crowd?


President Obama is making some proposals popular with social and fiscal conservatives, including nearly doubling the per-child tax credit, and requiring employers to offer direct-deposit IRA’s, even those now without savings plans.

A typical news story appears on CNN, here.

The Child and Dependent Tax Care Credit would raise from 20% to 35% for families making less than $85000 a year, and up to $115000 there would be some credit.

Social conservatives have supported such measures in order to encourage middle class to upper middle class families to have more children, and for adults to be able to have children earlier in their working careers, at least while they are in the late 20s, before the biological clock starts to work against them. Phil Gramm, back in 1992, had proposed multiplying the credit by 10! This comports with the “empty cradle” or “demographic winter” argument of Phillip Longman and others. The appearance of the story on the same day that Lifetime aired its movie “Pregnancy Pact” is a bit ironic.

The Christian Science Monitor offers this story, by David Grant, title "What's cooler than a child-care tax credit? Obama's opt-out IRA: The child-care tax credit would increase, but an opt-out IRA is both one of the most interesting and least controversial of Obama's middle-class aid proposals”. The article notes that Incentives for employers “to create opt-out enrollment in retirement plans” were provided by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, but there has been no program for associates in workplaces without employer-sponsored savings plans, and it’s not clear that much is done about contractors, except through their staff-placement firms in corp-to-corp.

Perhaps these proposals come about as Obama’s health care plans get eroded.

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