June 7, 2012
The Congressional Budget Office reports that the "amount of federal debt held by the public is projected later this year to surpass 70 percent of the nation's annual economic output." This comes on the heels of a very weak Bureau of Labor Statistics job report, which notes that for the month of April, "the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 8.2 percent."
This unpleasantly abiding statistic likely is much too low. FRC's Chris Gacek, an economics graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, recently noted an Investor's Business Daily article showing that when all the data are evaluated, actual unemployment stands at over 11 percent.
And consider this: "According to federal statistics, the unemployment rate of 18-29 year olds reached 12.1 percent in May and when those who have given up looking for work are added in, the rate skyrockets to 16.9 percent." In tandem with explosive college debt, it is little wonder so many young Americans especially those without the benefit of college - have grave doubts about their future.
What can be done? Clearly, the federal government taxes, spends, and regulates too much. But for American families, relief is needed now practical financial help to make raising children, our greatest economic resource, a bit easier.
Thats why FRC is calling for the President and Congress to make the Child Tax Credit permanent and to increase it to $5,000 per child for every household. The data makes clear that strong families are the true engine of the economy, and letting Moms and Dads keep more of what they earn so their children can enjoy a higher quality of life makes both immediate and long-term sense.
In the short term, an expanded Child Tax Credit means families will spend more for their needs and wants, which itself stimulates the economy and fosters both higher growth and a larger, more rapid influx of federal revenues. Longer term, as the costs of having children become more affordable, the number of Americas children might also become more plentiful an especially significant economic benefit, as human capital is the single greatest contributor to Americas economy.
Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute and former senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallashas written, The child care credit is not just another middle-income tax break. It plays an important role in encouraging work by providing tax relief for expenses that are closely linked to work. An improved and expanded credit can help offset the work disincentives of the income tax and boost economic growth.
Well said. Now, its up to policymakers to act.