Policies to boost household cash-flow–including the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC)–were a cornerstone of the federal response during the pandemic and critical to helping families across America avert many financial hardships. The expansion of direct cash assistance–with no strings attached–is especially notable against the backdrop of the 25th anniversary of “welfare reform” and its establishment of the highly conditional and restrictive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Comparing present-day policy to what’s come before can offer critical insights for future policy design.
The effectiveness of policies to boost household cash flow lies in their design. The expanded CTC demonstrates that designing policies in ways that are inclusive and people-centric, so they align with the needs and preferences of the families being served, can dramatically enhance their value to them.
Join the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program and Springboard To Opportunities on Wednesday, November 10th, for a discussion on insights for policy design from the perspective of families these policies are intended to serve, the CTC expansion as a use-case for these insights, and how policymakers can apply these lessons broadly to building a modernized system of benefits – both public and private – that ensures the financial security and economic dignity of all households. This conversation will feature an interview with women participating in the Magnolia Mother’s Trust–the country’s longest-running guaranteed income demonstration project, the only one in the nation specifically serving Black women in public housing–and a panel of policy experts providing perspectives of how to apply these insights at scale within the benefit system.
- “They Gave Black Mothers in Mississippi $1,000 a Month. It Changed Their Lives.” New Republic
- American Rescue Plan Signals What is Needed to Create a US System of Benefits Grounded in the Financial Security of all Workers
- Centering the Margins: A Framework and Practices for Person-Centered Financial Security Policy