Benefits for All or Just the Needy? Manchin’s Demand Focuses Debate

When Vice President Joe Biden met on Tuesday with 12 House Democrats from swing districts, a question about who would be eligible for two-years of free community college came up, says Representative Susan Wild, a Democrat from Pennsylvania.

Nevertheless, “the overall attitude was that we should not be putting means-testing in on universal child care, or let’s call it universal preschool.”

In her words, “It’s absolutely out of the child’s hands obviously, and it’s an unfair impediment,” she said.

The debate’s politics are hazy. In the eyes of Republicans, Democrats are hypocrites for handing out tax breaks to the wealthy. They parody government funded family and medical leave by singling out executives who already receive the benefit from their company and mock tax credits meant to convert the nation to electric automobiles as handouts for Tesla owners. Children of millionaires will be eligible for free community college, according to the warnings issued by those in the know.

One of the most prominent House Republicans, Jason Smith of Missouri, penned an essay for The Washington Examiner on Tuesday in which he criticised Democrats as a party of the rich and powerful.

Exaggerated charges are rampant in this case. Even if community college is offered free of charge, it’s unlikely that the children of millionaires will go there in droves. The child care tax credit was increased by Ms. Sherrill’s amendment, but the benefit remains limited to no more than 7% of a family’s overall spending. Child care is a significantly smaller fraction of a very affluent family’s income, therefore subsidies would still be limited. The programme still has a million-dollar wealth cap.

In the same breath, Republicans are outraged by tax increases that appear to be targeted at the wealthy.

Still, the fines might be painful.

If the government helps someone like Mr. Kaine, he says, “that money is probably taken away from somebody who needs it a lot more.” Mr. Kaine expressed this about certain programmes.