Oshan Jarow argues that anti-poverty programs, such as the child tax credit (CTC), should be unconditional to effectively combat poverty. The success of the expanded CTC in 2021, which temporarily removed income phase-ins and significantly reduced child poverty, demonstrates the impact of unconditional aid. However, the reinstatement of phase-ins in 2022 led to a sharp increase in child poverty rates, underscoring the need for policy changes.
- Effectiveness of Expanded CTC: The expanded child tax credit in 2021, without phase-ins, dramatically reduced child poverty, cutting it nearly in half.
- Reinstatement of Phase-Ins: The return of phase-ins in 2022 to the CTC led to an immediate increase in child poverty, reversing the gains made the previous year.
- Critique of Conditional Aid: Jarow criticizes the traditional approach of conditional aid, such as phase-ins, which excludes the poorest Americans and is less effective in reducing poverty.
- Evidence Against Phase-Ins: Recent evidence suggests that phase-ins do not significantly increase employment, challenging the rationale for their use in anti-poverty programs.
- Potential for Policy Change: The article advocates for unconditional aid in anti-poverty programs, citing the expanded CTC’s success as a model for future policies.