New Survey: Vast Majority Want Expansion of Child Tax Credit Tied to Work

Sep 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — A new American Compass survey finds that while most Americans support the American Recovery Plan (ARP)’s temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit, most also want any permanent expansion to be tied to work. The survey of 2,000 registered voters, conducted in August in partnership with YouGov, confirms that nationwide enthusiasm for unconditional cash benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic does not reflect a shift in fundamental American attitudes toward government support and the importance of work:

  • Only 28% of respondents support the Child Tax Credit’s permanent expansion and prefer making it available to families with no one in the household working.
  • Only 33% of respondents say that “if sending money to families raises their total income above the poverty line, the government is doing a good job reducing child poverty,” compared with 56% who say that “the government should provide benefits to help ease the hardship facing low-income families, but reducing poverty means getting families to the point where they can support themselves.”

Americans do appear broadly enthusiastic about a larger and more generous Child Tax Credit than existed prior to the ARP expansion, suggesting a significant opportunity for bipartisan cooperation on a permanent, expanded credit that maintains a connection to work:

  • Net support is high for making permanent the credit’s expanded size (+23) and monthly payment mechanism (+38).
  • While most respondents prefer a framework less generous than unconditional cash for all families, most (including most Republicans) also support something more generous than a benefit limited to the value of taxes paid. An “income match” limiting benefit size to a household’s prior year’s earnings was especially popular with Independents and the working class.

Click here to read the full report.