What Tax Reform Owes Families
Is it possible to enact pro-family tax reform? As pressure to expand the child tax credit (CTC) intensifies, it has become apparent that tax reform is really impossible unless it includes pro-family reforms. While many pundits and policymakers find this surprising, a closer look reveals that pro-family considerations were central to the 1986 tax reforms, which saw the dependent exemption doubled and indexed for inflation. The story of how and why these changes were made to the dependent exemption in 1986 offer lessons for reforming the child tax credit in 2017.