The family has long been the cornerstone of American society, but now, it is in jeopardy. As a believer in small government, my natural inclination is to say the government shouldn't be expanding its reach. Nevertheless, my conservative belief in the importance of our institutions also tells me that government can have a role in supporting families.
Supporting children and families has often been an area where both parties can come together. This unity has only increased as both marriage and birth rates have declined. People aren't getting married and having children at the same rate they were previously.
As demonstrated in the past, Sen. Mitt Romney's calls for bipartisanship have resulted in actual policy, the infrastructure bill being the most recent example. Leave it to the Utah Republican to develop a more budget-friendly, bipartisan, and effective policy than the present one, the Biden administration's child tax credit. This policy, established in the COVID-19 relief bill passed at the beginning of the Biden administration, has received bipartisan support.
But there is a better solution worth the support of political figures on the Right and Left. That is what Romney has created with the Family Security Act. Compared to the child tax credit, the Family Security Act delivers more aid while being budget neutral. The plan achieves budget neutrality by eliminating programs and tax deductions such as SALT and head of household status.
The Family Security Act offers aid through two main policy programs: the monthly child benefit and the reformed earned income tax credit. The plan's monthly child benefit provides $4,200 a year for children ages 0 to 5 and $3,000 for ages 6 to 17, and it even provides for families before the child is born, with $1,250 available four months before the child's due date. The simplified EITC provides considerable benefits that do not vary based on the number of dependents. Furthermore, the plan would eliminate programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which contain marriage penalties.
Compared to the child tax credit, the Family Security Act is a better policy. It supports families in a long-term and budget-neutral manner, while the Biden child tax credit, extended in Democrats' behemoth "Build Back Better" plan, is clearly a policy meant for temporary use.
The idea of supporting families through direct payments is what makes the child tax credit bipartisan, not the child tax credit itself. The Family Security Act takes a popular temporary policy idea and turns it into a long-term policy solution that could immediately lift over 3 million children out of poverty. The Biden administration should seize this opportunity to work with Romney and others to enact bipartisan policy that supports families.
Ian Connor Linnabary is the vice president of publications at Gen Z Grow Our Platform.