a) Congressman A says that middle-class parents need tax relief. Raising the next generation is an investment in our nation's future, so we should let parents keep more of their own money to do it. We should give parents a tax credit of $2500 per year for each child under 18, and pay for it by eliminating tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. The tax code should be pro-growth, pro-family, and pro-children.
b) Congressman B says that it is not appropriate to use the tax code to try to help families with children or for any other social goal. We should not give parents an advantage over people who choose not to have children. The purpose of the tax code should be to raise money for the government, period. Then everyone can make their own choices without being influenced by social engineers in the federal government.
Voters prefer the first alternative by a 68 to 27 percent margin, including a 73 to 24 percent margin among Democrats, a 65 to 29 percent margin among independents, and a 64 to 29 percent margin among Republicans.
The way the question is framed, it pits "middle-class parents" against "corporations and the wealthy," which is an approach you'd think would be coming from President Obama or some hard-left group, not the YG Network, which is a bunch of National Review types and former Eric Cantor aides. The language also is carefully crafted to speak not of raising taxes on employers or job-creators or hardworking successful people, but as "eliminating tax breaks." Describing Congressman A's approach as "pro-growth" may also slant the question: the simplicity of the approach described by Congressman B may be in fact be "pro-growth" more than the approach of Congressman A. I'd be interested to see some polling on the issue that is more neutrally worded. It may be that even a neutrally worked poll question finds support for the proposal, because there are more self-identified "middle-class parents" out there than there are self-identified "wealthy" people. I've written about the YG Network and its plans for a child tax credit before here.