Benefits for everyone or just for the needy? Manchin’s request concentrates the debate

In a private meeting with Mr Biden and nearly a dozen House Democrats in transitional districts on Tuesday, the prospect of limiting who could benefit from the promised two years of free community college emerged as part of a broader discussion of the program, according to Rep. Susan Wild, Democrat of Pennsylvania.

But, she added, “the general feeling was that we shouldn’t put means testing in place for universal child care, or let’s call it universal preschool.”

“It’s completely out of the child’s control, obviously, and it’s an unfair obstacle,” she said.

The politics of debate are obscure. Republicans love to attack Democrats for paying benefits to the rich. They caricature the tax credits meant to switch the country to electric vehicles as subsidies for Tesla owners and poke fun at federally paid family and medical leave by targeting executives who are already enjoying the benefits of their company. . The children of millionaires, they warn, will be among those who attend community college for free.

“The Democratic Party has become the party of the rich and the rich,” wrote Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri, the leading Republican on the House Budget Committee, in an essay for The Washington Examiner published Tuesday.

Many accusations are exaggerated. The kids of millionaires may not flock to community college, free or not. Ms. Sherrill’s amendment lifted the income cap on child care tax assistance, but the benefit is still set to limit child care costs to no more than 7 percent of child care expenses. a family. For truly wealthy families, child care is a much lower percentage than that, so the subsidies would still be limited. A wealth cap of $ 1 million still applies to the program as well.

And since Republicans argue that spending helps the rich, they denounce tax increases clearly aimed at the rich.

Still, the charges could sting.

“There are programs where I say, if the government helps someone like me, that money is probably coming from someone who needs it a lot more,” Kaine said.

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