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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Biden’s two-pronged attack on income inequality


President-elect Joe Biden wants the federal government to address income inequality by both redistributing more money to people at the bottom of the income ladder and by using policy to drive unemployment low enough to drive up demand and wages for those workers, reports the Wall Street Journal. (In Iowa, we know low unemployment comes with its own set of challenges for employers, though – namely the need for more skilled workers.) In a $1.9 trillion fiscal plan this week, Biden has proposed:

  • Raising the child tax credit 50% to $3,000 or more for the year and making it refundable, meaning families who owe less tax than the credit would get a check for the difference.
  • Extending and boosting enhanced weekly unemployment insurance benefits by $100 from the $300 in December’s stimulus package to $400.
  • Extending a 15% increase in food stamps through the summer, raising the maximum earned-income tax credit for childless adults by nearly $1,000 and extending it to more people.

However, the proposal also means Biden would push the national debt well over 100% of GDP, perhaps to a historic high. The story also points out that boosting stimulus checks to $2,000 per adult from $600 will cost an estimated $464 billion, and 58% of the money will go to households earning more than $50,000, including some earning more than $200,000, according to the Tax Policy Center.

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