November 5, 2017


Why Would Republicans Scrap the Adoption Tax Credit? (JOHN MCCORMACK, 11/04/17, The Weekly Standard)
The federal adoption tax credit is a tiny sliver of federal spending--the $300 million spent annually equals less than 0.01 percent of the federal budget. But the House GOP's proposal to scrap this little tax credit as part of their overhaul of the tax code is already receiving a lot of pushback.

"The adoption tax credit is not just one more policy issue. Vulnerable children ought to be a priority for us all," tweeted Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. "Amen. Being pro-life means being pro-adoption. Congress must remember this as we work through the details of tax reform in the coming weeks," Nebraska GOP senator Ben Sasse replied. [...]

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, keeping the adoption tax credit would cost the federal government $3.8 billion over 10 years. That's a small amount of money in a multi-trillion-dollar tax overhaul. Over 10 years, the House GOP's proposed changes to the estate tax alone (immediately doubling the exempt amount to $11 million and then eliminating it after 2023) will reduce federal revenues by $172 billion--meaning that cutting the inheritance tax will cost 50 times more than eliminating the adoption tax credit.Mind you, adoption advocates argue that the adoption tax credit doesn't actually cost taxpayers $3.8 billion in practice. Chuck Johnson, president of the National Council for Adoption, points out that Republicans are always arguing that tax plans should be scored "dynamically" in order to account for the impact tax cuts will have on economic growth--but they have failed to consider the overall impact of the adoption tax credit on state and federal budgets.

"What they don't factor in is the total cost to society with a child in foster care," Johnson tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The costs to taxpayers of keeping a child in foster care--health care, food, housing, social workers, and administrators--are far greater than the one-time tax credit adoptive families may receive.

"Comparing the per-child cost of subsidized adoption from foster care with the cost of maintaining a child in foster care, one concludes that the child adopted from foster care costs the public only 40 percent as much as the child who remains in foster care," according to a report from the National Council for Adoption. "The difference in cost per child per year amounts to $15,480."

"You've got to look at the total cost. You've got to look at the future savings," says Johnson. Children who get out of foster care and into permanent families are better off, which is good for them and good for society. "Children get in families who help them become self-sufficient contributing members of society, instead of folks we have to provide care to for the rest of their lives," says Johnson.

You have to remember why the credit was adopted in the first place.
Posted by at November 5, 2017 8:01 AM