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Key Words: The new monthly payments of up to $300 per child won’t be ‘a sustained policy,’ says conservative analyst

While some experts from across the political spectrum predict a long life for the new monthly Child Tax Credit payments that started this month, the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector isn’t convinced.

He expressed skepticism about the expanded CTC. It’s slated to fade away next year, but President Joe Biden has proposed extending it for a few years, and other Democrats have called for making it permanent.


‘They may be able to squeak this through in reconciliation by a single vote, and by a majority of two or three votes in the House, but I don’t think that this is going to be a sustained policy.’


— Robert Rector, Heritage Foundation

Speaking on Tuesday with MarketWatch for a Barron’s Live episode, Rector argued that polling suggests the new approach with the CTC can’t last. A key shift has been the credit is now fully refundable, meaning people who owe no taxes are getting payments.

“We have a poll, for example, that asks the question, ‘Should an able-bodied adult get cash, food or housing or medical care from the government without being required to work or at least prepare for work?’ We find that 90% of the public say, ‘No, you shouldn’t give anything that way,’ including close to nine out of 10 people that identify as Democrats,” said Rector, a senior research fellow at Heritage, a conservative think thank.

“The American public wants to be compassionate to the poor, but it wants that compassion to be fair.”

Taking an opposite view during the Barron’s Live episode was Lorena Roque, a senior policy analyst at the liberal Center for American Progress.

“Whether they extend it to 2024 or 2025, it should be permanent, because the costs of raising a family aren’t going away,” she said. “This is really helping people make ends meet, and people are going to notice when they stop.”

Related: Enhanced Child Tax Credits of up to $3,600 per child start: ‘I’m going to be able to do a lot’

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