Opinion: Child tax credit extension will help families cope with life’s emergencies

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I was planning to buy a toddler bed for my 18 month old child with my first child tax credit check. Then my car had a flat tire and this shot went through the window.

If I had not received this check, I would not have had the money for this emergency. I was able to get the tire repaired and I didn’t have to go into debt to do so. And when the second check came in August, I was able to buy my son his bed.

As a new parent, I am amazed at the number of unexpected things that happen when raising children. My son had a mild fever every two months when he was teething, and I had to take unscheduled days off. Recently he had RSV for six weeks – it’s a respiratory virus that a lot of babies get, and it’s very dangerous. My partner and I both had to take time off from work and it hurt us financially. With the pandemic, unplanned and unpaid sick leave is even more common for families.

President Joe Biden’s Expanded Child Tax Credit recognizes that most families in today’s economy don’t have a nest egg to cover sudden expenses. The CLC benefits 90% of American families. It’s not there to make us millionaires. Its purpose is to alleviate the constant stress our children can see on our faces when we worry about another school expense, an unexpected medical bill, or illness.

Before becoming a mother, I was a student and ran a fast food restaurant as a salaried general manager. I left this job about four months before my son gave birth. A few months after his birth, I wanted to return to work, but I could no longer work the hours of a manager – and I could no longer touch a manager’s salary. The only job they could offer was paid $ 9 an hour. I was bringing home about $ 300 a month, but half of that was for child care. I ended up quitting the fast food restaurant, and now I watch the neighborhood children to earn some money on the side.

Other than occasional income for childcare, I am a stay-at-home mom. My fiance is in the furniture business. Needless to say, the money doesn’t exactly come in, but we don’t care about keeping the lights on. However, we are concerned about the “extras” that go into raising children.

When I learned earlier this year that we were going to receive expanded monthly child tax credit payments, I was elated: it meant my family was going to have a guaranteed income all year round and up. on vacation.

It also meant that I would no longer have to dread the unexpected expenses that lay ahead of us every month. My fiance and I are getting ready to welcome a second child, and we are both more confident that we can plan for the longer term and provide for our children; We don’t have to wait until tax time to get this tax credit. My fiance and I can use these vouchers now to improve the lives of our children.

In addition to the toddler bed, I have already spent some of the money on winter clothes for my son. Toddlers grow so fast that it feels like we have to buy new outfits every two weeks. We also used the check to open a savings account for our son so he could be better off than us.

President Biden wants to extend this relief permanently. He says the country can pay for it simply by forcing billionaires – who pay far less in taxes than families like mine – to pay their fair share. Biden also wants to cut childcare costs, which would really help families like mine.

If we have permanent monthly child tax credit audits, families will have more flexible spending, which will help our businesses and local communities. Thanks to this financial lifeline, families like mine no longer have to worry about having a crib or a flat tire compared to the family budget.

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