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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:50 PM

The latest war on single moms

The U.S. is behind the world on support to single parents and their kids, and "Plan B" would make it worse


The United States offers the worst support structure for single parents among all comparable countries — and if anything like House Speaker John Boehner’s Plan B carries the day, it’s about to get worse.

Republicans used to love the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, because they incentivized paid labor and used the tax code instead of cash assistance or programs to help low-income parents, most visibly single mothers. But that was before the cry against the 47 percent, a substantial portion of whom didn’t pay taxes because of such credits.

In the Washington Post, Jamelle Bouie points to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that the two tax credits for low-income families will be slashed under Plan B: “A mother with two children who works full time at the minimum wage of $7.25 and earns $14,500 a year would lose $1,560 of her Child Tax Credit, which would plummet from $1,725 to $165.”

This comes, of course, a few months after the party’s nominee answered a question about gun violence by complaining about single mothers, and about a year after the supposed intellectual force of the party, Newt Gingrich, offered the following plan for reducing child poverty: Employing young children as janitors at school. For a substantial amount of time in between, the leading candidate among Republican primary voters, Rick Santorum, was the guy who, as a Senate candidate in 1994, had suggested forced paternity tests for welfare recipients and said single mothers were “breeding criminals.” He added then, “We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms.”



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