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  • Ryan Wittler

Families Are Spending Child Tax Credit Payments on Things Like Food and Debt, Not Drugs


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We’re sure you’ve heard by now, but if not: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has effectively killed Biden’s Build Back Better Act, leaving the Democratic party in its latest scramble to convince voters it actually has its house in order.


Not long after Manchin went on Fox News to announce his opposition to the bill, reports surfaced that one his reasons is Biden's expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), as Manchin reportedly peddled the old trope that he thinks people will spend the money on drugs, not actual family care.


Well, Bloomberg writers Rachel Scott and Benjamin Siegel were having none of that, digging into U.S. Census Bureau data and other reports to find that families are actually using the money on mundane things like food, paying down debt, and rent.


According to Census Bureau data, so far this year, households making less than $50,000 that received CTC payments have largely put the money towards paying down debt. Higher-income households were more likely to just save the money.


Scott and Siegel also cited a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that found 91% of households making less than $35,000 used the money to pay for food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities. That report also found Black and Hispanic families were more likely to use their CTC payments on costs related to education, e.g., school supplies.


Which begs the questions: Are Manchin’s aides not competent enough to find this information? Or does Joe simply not care?


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