Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/5bmjv7

Why Did It Take America So Long to Pass a Refundable Child Tax Credit?

15 October 2021


No major rich democracy nation has been more hesitant to provide unconditional cash allowances to families with children experiencing poverty than the United States. Almost all major democracies have provided a version of such allowances for decades. But U.S. ideology strongly resists giving all Americans poverty relief, and this has included children. A result is that by key measures, America has the highest child poverty rate among rich democracies.


Jeff Madrick
Jeff Madrick is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation and director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.

Samantha Wing
Samantha Wing is an intern with the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative at The Century Foundation where she focuses on child poverty and welfare. She was previously a Summer Scholar at TCF working with the labor team. Samantha is currently a Masters of Public Administration student at Binghamton University interested in promoting equity in government programs and advocating for worker’s rights.


child poverty child tax credit