Then there’s the Child Tax Credit.
This is a shining star among government programs, one that helped cut child poverty in half when it was expanded during the pandemic. It’s hard to ask for better results than that.
The average taxpayer paid $345 for the Child Tax Credit in 2022. If you have children, it’s likely that you got more than that from getting the Child Tax Credit yourself. But conservatives in Congress let the expansion expire in late 2021, abandoning a policy that worked and allowing child poverty to climb.
Scientists are united on the fact that we need to cut carbon emissions now or face dire consequences.
Yet the average taxpayer paid less than $7 for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in 2022. They got charged more than 10 times that amount for nuclear weapons, which themselves present an existential threat to humanity.
Most of us also support programs for cleaner air and water, which have saved millions of lives and trillions of dollars. Yet the average taxpayer paid less than $22 for the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with responding to the horrific chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio that threatened communities in multiple states.
The same taxpayer paid five times as much for a single Pentagon contractor, Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-35 jet fighter. Unlike our successful clean air and water programs, the F-35 fighter is notorious for its failures and expense.
So, let’s hope you got that refund and use it for something worthwhile. But let’s also demand that our government prioritize programs that are worthwhile and make our lives better — and jettison the ones that don’t.
This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.