NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obama Tax Credit Would Do Little to Help Families

January 21, 2015

President Obama is proposing to give families with two earners a $500 tax credit, the idea being that it will "help cover the additional costs faced by families in which both spouses work."

But will it actually help? Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner is skeptical. The "additional costs" faced by two working parents tend to be commuting costs and child care expenses, but Bedard contends the tax credit -- which the president says will benefit 24 million couples -- will do little to help families:

  • According to a 2014 report from Child Care Aware of America, infant child care can cost $279 weekly.
  • Based on that report, a $500 credit would not even cover two weeks of infant care.
  • Similarly, just two weeks of transportation costs in Columbus, Ohio, averages to $538, according to the Center for Neighborhood Technology -- more than the amount of the credit.

Bedard notes that families with incomes below $120,000 will receive a full credit, and families with incomes of up to $210,000 will be eligible for a partial credit.

Source: Paul Bedard, "Obama's 'two-earner' tax credit wouldn't cover two weeks of infant care or commuter costs," Washington Examiner, January 20, 2015.  


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