A New York Times opinion columnist exploited child poverty in order to advance the virtues of a nutty leftist policy goal: “universal basic income.”
Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo called President Joe Biden’s expanded “Child Tax Credit” program a “blessing” and a “quiet revolution in American welfare policy” in an op-ed ludicrously headlined “Giving People Money Is a Great Way to Reduce Poverty.” The Times has since changed the headline to “Biden Has Helped the Quiet Revolution of Giving People Money.”
The Times columnist also said the quiet part out loud, revealing that his support for Biden’s “Child Tax Credit” is closely tied to the leftist dream of universal basic income. “The expanded Child Tax Credit, on the other hand, was more like Social Security for people under 18,” Manjoo wrote. “It was a kind of nearly universal basic income.” [Emphasis added].
The success of the Child Tax Credit is almost a proof-of-concept for “guaranteed income,” Manjoo wrote.
But Cato Institute economist Chris Edwards told MRC Business in exclusive comments that taxpayer-paid child allowances carry hidden costs for American families, a pitfall Manjoo decided to bypass to promote his “guaranteed income” idea:
“The cost is that when the government forcibly extracts taxes from Americans to pay for programs, it reduces their freedom and damages the entire economy. Higher taxes reduce overall GDP and the incomes of all Americans. As tax rates rise, the economic damage rises more than proportionately, so limiting government spending is important to maximizing overall incomes.”
There’s also an ethical issue at hand, Edwards said. “Is it ethical to steal money from the people who earned it to give it to others for free? And what’s the limit? If giving people $300 a month makes sense, then why not $1000? For advocates, it’s always ‘the more free stuff the better,’ but they never consider the cost.”
“One of the main backers of guaranteed income” is the Economic Security Project (ESP), Manjoo wrote. As it so happens, the ESP is a progressive group closely tied to liberal billionaire George Soros. Soros gifted the advocacy arm of the ESP, Economic Security Project Action, with $1,000,000 in 2019, per Open Society Foundation records.
The costs for a child tax credit program might hurt children more than others, according to a 2021 analysis by the Hoover Institution research fellow David Henderson: “[C]hild allowances would create increased dependence, are not targeted at the needy, could reduce the work effort of lower-income women, and would add to the already huge federal budget deficit and debt.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact The New York Times at 800-698-4637 and demand it report fairly on the caustic effects that child tax allowances have on young children and families.