What Happened to the GOP Being the ‘Pro-Family’ Party?
Senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio are for bringing children into this world, but against helping them survive it
On Thursday, Senator Mitt Romney proposed the Family Security Act, a monthly cash benefit for children. The proposal, tucked inside the Biden administration’s pending $1.9 trillion stimulus package, is pretty simple: It eliminates the child tax credit, a government assistance program for income earners. The tax credit would be replaced with cash. Parents receive payments based on each child’s age — infants and children up to five years old get a $350 monthly payment; children ages six to 17 get $250 a month. Families earning above a high threshold still receive the monthly payments, but pay them back with their taxes.
The universal nature of the proposal is terrific and should be uncontroversial. Means testing, where access to safety-net services comes with conditions, is just another way for the vulnerable to get left behind. It is nearly impossible to navigate a bureaucratic labyrinth while working two jobs and raising children. A universal payout like Romney’s gets to everyone. And it would make a difference. According to the Niskanen Center, a moderate-leaning think tank based in Washington, D.C., Romney’s plan would “reduce U.S. child poverty by roughly one third.” With his plan, 50% of children in the grip of “deep poverty” would be freed from its apathetic grasp.
Romney’s plan is not perfect. It caps benefits, which will harm large families. The plan’s phaseout at higher income levels is more cumbersome bureaucracy. We should just rely on taxes to get the payments back from high-income families. But still, Romney’s plan is better than Biden’s current plan. This full-time caretaking mother of three is heartened by it. Motherhood in America is a multilevel marketing scheme. Unpaid labor, done nearly exclusively by women, holds the pyramid up. Republicans, the ostensible party of family and faith, should be on board with fellow Republican Mitt Romney’s proposal. It’s pro-family legislation. I hope to be surprised by many of them. I was not surprised by Senator Mike Lee or Senator Marco Rubio.