Biden’s American Families Plan

Crystal Kalin

On Wednesday, April 28th, President Biden made a speech to Congress to mark his first 100 days in office. In it, he discussed his American Families Plan that would invest trillions of dollars in national childcare programs, universal preschools, tuition-free college, and health insurance for low income workers.

The American Families Plan is essentially a plan to aid families to cover the basic expenses that so many struggle with now, including lowering health insurance premiums, and continuing the American Rescue Plan’s historic reductions in child poverty. With all these plans in place, Biden has high hopes for the future of the American economy and American workers, and strongly believes the U.S. will eventually out-compete China and other countries around the world.

Under The American Families Plan, Biden promises to provide Americans two years of free community college, and invest in making college more affordable for low-and middle income students. The plan also promises to provide direct support to children and families to ensure that low-and-middle income families spend no more than 7% of their income on child care. It will also provide direct support to families by creating a national paid family and medical leave program that will allow people to manage their health as well as the health of their families. The last benefit of this direct support is that it will provide nutrition assistance to the families who need it most to reduce child hunger.

The final promise under this plan is the extension of tax cuts for families with children as well as American workers. While the American Rescue Plan (aka. The 1.9 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Package) provided relief for hundreds of millions of families and workers, the wealthiest Americans still remained ahead while low and middle class Americans are often still struggling to meet their basic needs. Under the American Families Plan, key tax cuts created in the American Rescue Plan such as the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Tax Credit will be extended, making it easier for families to make ends meet.

Leading economic research has shown that the investments proposed in the American Families Plan will yield significant economic returns ultimately boosting productivity and economic growth. A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that a dollar invested in high-quality early childhood programs for low-income children will result in up to $7.30 in benefits, including increased wages, improved health, and reduced crime. Parental paid leave has been shown to keep mothers in the workforce, increasing labor force participation and boosting economic growth. And, sustained tax credits for families with children have been found to yield a lifetime of benefits, ranging from higher educational attainment to higher lifetime earnings.

There is still so much more included in Biden’s American Families Plan such as a set aside $9 billion to train, equip and diversify American teachers in order to ensure success for high school graduates, opportunities for first-time students and workers to enroll in a community college to earn a degree or credential for free, and an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award by approximately $1,400. All of the benefits included in the American Families Plan are to essentially aim to close opportunity gaps for low-income children and people of color by providing more affordable healthcare for all. There are those who are also skeptical about Biden’s plan and people who have their concerns about how the taxes will be split and which groups are eligible for the benefits. The plan is still coming into effect and more news is currency being collected on what date exactly the plan will come into effect.