The Biden administration is pitching Georgia on a $1.8 trillion plan aimed at helping families cover child-care costs via tax credits, boosting federal funds for college education and creating a national program for paid family leave.
Called the American Families Plan, the family-focused package awaiting consideration in Congress leans on hiking taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations to fund higher child tax credits and earned-income tax credits for low-income families.
It contains dozens of proposals to extend lower health-insurance premiums to many Georgians, increase the minimum wage for child-care workers and kindergarten teachers, prop up funding for free school meals, cover two years of community college tuition and expand paid family leave.
The plan’s tax proposals would help cut taxes or provide credits for an estimated 80% of Georgia families while hiking taxes for fewer than 1% of residents who make up the state’s top earners, said Danny Kanso, a senior policy analyst with the nonprofit Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI).
“The tax measures in these recovery plans really present the greatest opportunity in a generation to cut child poverty and to rebalance the tax code in favor of working people and the middle class,” Kanso said at a news conference Thursday. “Altogether, those provisions far outweigh the revenue-raisers in these bills.”
GBPI representatives also said the plan would help thousands of Georgians maintain health coverage expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic, keep shelves stocked for the roughly 57% of families relying on free and reduced-price school meals and boost educational opportunities in a state where two out of three residents lack a bachelor’s degree.
President Joe Biden touted his latest spending package at a rally last week in metro Atlanta where he pledged to avoid raising taxes on lower and middle-class families and urged supporters to back increased taxes on higher earners and companies.
“It’s about time the very wealthy and corporations start paying their fair share,” Biden said at a drive-in rally in Duluth. “It’s as simple as that.”
Republicans have largely slammed the president’s latest spending plan, noting it would add to a set of other high-dollar packages including $1.9 trillion in new COVID-19 emergency aid that Congress passed in March and a $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal Biden is also pushing.
“Make no mistake: Biden is seeking to make the public reliant on the government for every aspect of our lives,” U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, wrote in an op-ed this week in the Washington Examiner. “His unabashed ‘big government’ agenda would orient our economy and foreign policy around climate change, include massive tax hikes and pack the Supreme Court, to boot.”
If passed by Congress, Biden’s plan would run in tandem with tax cuts for Georgians and broader paid family leave that state lawmakers passed in the 2021 legislative session.