(THE NATION) – With the 2018 midterms behind us, politicians can start campaigning for the next big election: the one that leads to the White House. But before Democratic hopefuls reach the general election in 2020, they will have to make it through the primaries. With two likely candidates floating high-profile proposals with similar aims, the Democratic race seems officially under way.
Senator Kamala Harris of California put forward what she's calling the LIFT Act, which would increase tax credits for low- to moderate-income families. And New Jersey's Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill to seed every American child with a savings account of $1,000 that would grow until they reach age 18.
Both plans would funnel money to American families, especially those who have the least, and offer relief to millions. But they miss an opportunity to help families in the easiest, most streamlined way: by just writing them checks.
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Harris builds on the existing earned-income tax credit by offering up to an additional $3,000 a year for an individual or $6,000 for a couple, phasing it out once people with children start earning $100,000 a year. Families could get the money as a lump sum at tax time or in monthly payments.