Why the Child Tax Credit is Important to My Family

by John Tejeda | February 2, 2012 3:23 am

Growing up, my family did not have a lot of money, so my mom was always grateful for the benefit of the Child Tax Credit. That refund was a safety net, money we often used to buy school supplies or help pay bills that we were struggling to keep up on.

Like me and my mom, millions of families depend on the Child Tax Credit to help when things are tight.

Many of those hard working parents and their children may now be in danger of falling further through the cracks. In attempts to slash spending, Congress is ready to change the eligibility for the child tax credit and block immigrant families from taking part. Effectively, this means legislators would balance the budget on the backs of 5 million children.

Nearly half of all families who take part in this credit earn less than $25,000 a year, and the average annual credit for each family is about $1,800 — the difference between rent and eviction, healthcare and bankruptcy, and food and starvation for millions of families.

Anti-immigrant zealots are pushing as hard as they can to make sure these devastating changes are passed. But we know that if they were, they’d have a devastating impact on those already struggling to get by. Like me and my mom once were.

I’ve always believed that America is a great country. A country where, through hard work and determination, you’re given the opportunity to get a good education and provide for your family. A country that’s great enough to help families out financially through things like the Child Tax Credit when times are tough. But when a GOP-controlled Congress believes taking this away is a good idea, their message to the rest of us is that they are willing to block hardworking families from getting the help that they need to succeed in this country. There is absolutely no logic in that.

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