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Tracking Plans to Make Pandemic Benefit Expansions Permanent

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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28 Comments
Pandemic mask with COVID-19 written on it surrounded by money

In 2008, former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel famously said what has come to be known as Rahm’s rule: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” It’s clear that this principle informed many of the unprecedented policy responses to the coronavirus crisis.  

Democrats continue to take Rahm’s rule to heart long after the health crisis has ended, reflected in multiple plans to permanently revive and extend pandemic benefit expansions. How far-reaching is that effort? Consider just the following statements from a White House fact sheet about President Biden’s most recent budget proposal, which specifically calls for the revival or expansion of major benefit increases legislated during the pandemic:

  • “The President is calling for the restoration of the full Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan…”
  • “The President also calls on the Congress to make the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion for childless workers permanent…”
  • The Budget proposes “making permanent the average $800 per year premium cuts through expanded premium tax credits that the Inflation Reduction Act extended.”
  • “The Budget provides $4.1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), building on the $13 billion provided in the Inflation Reduction Act…” 

The fact sheet also suggests the president’s budget would build on other pandemic benefit expansions, including by providing increased funding for childcare, housing, public education, college, green energy, a new national paid leave program, and much more.

The following selections from AEI-authored op-eds and blog posts review more details about these efforts to extend pandemic benefit expansions—and thereby ensure the pandemic continues to stoke income redistribution well after the crisis is only a memory.

Unemployment Benefits

  • Goal: Extend pandemic unemployment expansions indefinitely.
    • The American Worker Holiday Relief Act also proposed extending all other federal pandemic unemployment benefits….as long as state unemployment rates remained high—that is, indefinitely. (“Pandemic Unemployment Benefits, Indefinitely?“)
  • Goal: Create a permanent unemployment program for nonworkers, modeled after the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
    • New jobseeker allowances would effectively make the current temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program permanent….Wyden’s jobseeker allowances would start at $250 per week, could last up to 91 weeks depending on unemployment conditions, and would be payable to all unemployed individuals over age 19—including those who’ve never worked before. (“Government ‘Allowances’ Are the New Welfare“)

Child Tax Credit (CTC)

  • Goal: Revive the 2021 pandemic CTC expansion.
    • The president is once again “calling for the restoration of the full Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan,” while now proposing that most of that “full” restoration lasts only through 2025….That means the staggering apparent cost of this policy ($429 billion over 10 years) ignores more spending that it includes, given supporters’ stated desire to make the policy permanent…(“The Trillion-Dollar Hole in the President’s Budget)
  • Goal: Permanently end the work requirement for claiming the CTC.
    • But under the proposed expansion, no such work requirement would apply for those collecting CTC checks in the years ahead. Indeed, under this proposal the same $2,000 per child payments would be made to all parents whether they don’t work at all, work only part time, or work full time or more. (“The Coming Push to Revive Work-Free Child Tax Credits“)

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

  • Goal: Permanently remove the annual earnings requirement for claiming the EITC.
    • Under the ironically titled Working Families Tax Relief Act, introduced in June by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and other senior Democratic senators, the mask was removed and the lookback policy would be made permanent. That is, if an individual’s current year earnings are below their earnings in the prior year, they could use the prior year’s earnings when applying for the EITC—permanently. (Another Pandemic Legacy: Removing the EITC’s Work and Earnings Requirement“)

Medicaid and CHIP

  • Goal: Extend eligibility expansions even after the public health emergency (PHE) has ended.
    • In effect, the federal government wants to require the states to permanently increase the size of their Medicaid and CHIP programs without offering a pathway for possible offsetting cost savings. (“CMS’s Post-PHE Plan for Medicaid and CHIP“)

Food Stamps/SNAP

  • Goal: Permanently increase food stamps, as in the pandemic.

Reprinted with Permission from AEI.org – By Matt Weidinger

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PaulE
PaulE
8 months ago

Today Rahm has been rewarded for his service to the left’s undermining of the United States with an Ambassadorship to Japan by Team Biden. The Japanese government has about as much respect and use for Rahm as they do for sushi that is 5 days old and left out in the sun.

As for everything documented in this article, it is all completely accurate. The hard left in this country has been working to transform this country into yet another failed socialist / communist experiment for well over 100 years now. We’re 95% of the way there. All while most of the American public has been either completely apathetic or oblivious to what is going on right in front of them. Today, the left no longer has to try and hide what they are doing or their agenda, because they now control almost all the government and the entire MSM. So, they can now use the same strategies and tactics openly that are used in every other socialist / communist paradise.

Rik
Rik
8 months ago

I hate to admit that the Progressively Communist wannabe Democratic Party is almost “guaranteed” to win every election of consequence from now on because the Republican Party was too stupid and just let it happen!

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
8 months ago

What constitutes success for the left ? When we are the equal of China and Russia ? Or when we are all destitute ? Most of us are already. Or when the media has only one view ? Our media is 85% left already. Or when there is no private sector ? Or when our children are 100% stupid. 80% of them know nothing now. Or when we burn every flag and the constitution and the declaration of independence ? Or when our population is 100% illegal ? Its already 45% illegal. Or when there is no private property ? 62% of our property is either owned by the fed or foreign owned. What is their definition of success ?

Dee
Dee
8 months ago

What about the Seniors? Left behind again?

granky
granky
8 months ago

A lot of people received government benefits for the first time during the pandemic………..and they liked it. The democrats are just buying more votes………..and enslaving more people.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
8 months ago

Rahm established Chicago as a failure and the clowns who have succeeded him love his legacy. Chicago was great city until Rahm became mayor.

Garyk
Garyk
8 months ago

More marxist democrat party government dependent failed programs to buy votes from uninspired, freebie seeking, non- contributing ,sociatol leeches.
They won’t go out and earn for themselves just take handouts which other Citizens work hard and pay in.
The marxist democrat party believes in taking YOUR hard earned wealth and handing it out to others who do nothing.
The scum democrats don’t have ANY money, THEY FLEECE the American taxpayers and pretend they are giving their own money to these losers.
THROW THEM OUT

Ewc
Ewc
8 months ago

Can you say “buying votes” !

Leslie
Leslie
8 months ago

NO NO AND NO!!!

Harry
Harry
8 months ago

Get this guy on the end of a rope with his buddies in the DOJ , FBI and 51 so called Intelligence people. One way or another this has to happen to save this country, if it it isn’t already lost .

John
John
8 months ago

Why work at all?

Ty
Ty
8 months ago

Venezuela and Argentina. That’ all that needs to be said!

Kathi
Kathi
8 months ago

Margaret Thatcher said it best…(to paraphrase)…”The problem with Socialism is that you run out of other people’s money”.This administration and Leftists won’t be content until they ruin the “great experiment” that is the USA.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
8 months ago

Maybe they could get ACORN to administer these funds? They did such a smashing job overseeing poor ppls window caulking!

Anne
Anne
8 months ago

I just can’t stand what is happening to our country. It makes me sick to my stomach. How can we stop this momentum? I know it means we all,have to vote but I worry that so many will back Trump and then he will end up in prison … and then what happens.

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