Democrats have taken a big bite out of child poverty — but so far, just for one year. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan has a big expansion and reform of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to make it work basically like a Nordic-style child allowance. That is great, except the administration of the credit is technically inept, and the rest of the welfare state is shot through with the same problems this reform of the CTC is supposed to solve.
Democrats are already mobilizing to make this child benefit permanent. They should absolutely do that — but in the process, they should rationalize its design, and reform the rest of the welfare state to fit with its logic.