Showing 141 reactions

  • commented 2018-03-17 03:30:27 -0400
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  • commented 2018-03-12 21:05:44 -0400
    Dear Representative Joyce Beatty,

    Hello. I am Andrew Hedrick, and I would like to bring a topic that is near and dear to my heart to your attention: Universal Child Allowance.
    As I’m sure you are aware, raising children is quite expensive. Simply buying diapers and formula for a month can cost $150 to $200 per month per child. If this is a family’s first child, additional supplies have to be purchased, such as a crib, bed sheets, toys, clothes, a swing, a high chair, a car seat, and a playpen. The first year of raising a child, by my own experience (I am a father of four, with the fifth on the way) can cost approximately $3000. Assuming a family would like one parent to stay at home to raise the children, and further assuming that the working parent is making $15 per hour, that would be nearly 10% of their gross pay going towards keeping their child alive. It is easy to see how having children can rapidly become prohibitively expensive for most families.

    Generally, people earn the most income when they are closest to retirement. But while soon-to-be retirees are the most financially capable of bearing the burden of raising children, they are not the ones having children. Of necessity, young people, who are not in their prime wage earning years, are the ones who must have and raise children. Because their earnings are lower, and because the state has a vested interest in there being a generation to come after the present one, the state ought to assist with the costs of raising a family.

    Most European countries, as well as Canada, have recognized this and provide a Universal Child Allowance. The child allowance is generally not means tested and it is delivered via automatic deposit into the parents’ checking account every month. If the United States were to enact a similar program, it would feature approximately $250 per month, per child, being deposited into the parents’ account. While this would admittedly be expensive, it would reap huge benefits for individual families, for their children, and for the nation as a whole: for families struggling to get by, this would provide them with a dependable source of income. For children, it would cut childhood poverty by 40%, and for the nation as a whole, it would create a more robust economy, as it would result in more people purchasing more things, thus providing a permanent influx of money into the economy.

    Here is a link to an MIT calculator that shows what a living wage would be based on a variety of family situations. You can select any metropolitan area in the country, and as you can see, even a fifteen dollar minimum wage would be insufficient to cover the costs of raising a family. A Universal Child Allowance would allow parents a real choice in whether one or both parents work outside the home, if they use childcare services, and if they choose to have more children.

    As I have researched the Universal Child Allowance over the past year or so, the thing that has struck me most about the idea is that I have never encountered another American who has heard of it. This is the next big push that needs to happen after we guarantee free health care for all in this country. If Democrats were to emphasize this issue, it would rally the country to their cause. Kitchen table issues are what Americans are concerned about, and how many more children would be at that kitchen table if the state helped defray the cost of raising them?

    HR 821, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act was put forth by representative Rosa DeLauro and has 112 cosponsors, including Nancy Pelosi, and it would give $3600 in monthly installments of $300, to parents of children from birth until they turn six years old.

    Senate Bill 2018,the American Family Act of 2017, would go even further and extend the child allowance to all children.

    As you can see, these are actual bills that would greatly benefit actual families. Please see these links for more information regarding a child allowance:

    Thank you for considering a Universal Child Allowance.


    Andrew Hedrick
  • commented 2018-03-08 06:00:29 -0500
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  • commented 2018-03-06 20:08:33 -0500
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  • commented 2018-03-04 06:51:33 -0500
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  • commented 2018-03-01 03:36:12 -0500
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  • commented 2018-02-18 09:44:57 -0500
    Joyce and Sherrod,

    i am an Ohio retired school district Superintendent having been in education 37 years. Including being a teacher, coach, principal, supervisor, director, assistant superintendent.  I have IDEAS on how to better utilize our returning armed forces . Instead of DUMPING our vets into civilian life only to endure family and personal struggles, here is my idea.

    There should be a required 6 month to 1 year required DECOMPRESSION PROGRAM  in the states where vets are assigned

    phase down civilian/ community assignments coupled with monthly insight group meeting with fellow vets. They would retain their armed forces pay and  rank. After this period, they would be discharged to family and possibly  have developed  transitiory skills or even a job.

    Vets could be assigned to schools as resourse officers, or security officers. Vets could  work with the Army  Corps of Engineers building roads, bridges. They could work with border states on border security or even be used in construction to build barriers. They could work as park rangers. Our imagination is limitless as to what DECOMPRESSIVE  jobs they can be assigned to. Their military skills could very easily trsnsfer into civilian skills, cost the employer nothing, and help the vets re- aclimatize to a decompressed civilian life. Monthly transitionary support group meetings would be the underpinnings of this program and mandatory.

    We would be helping our vets tremendously, helping communities and schools, helping the repair  of our infrastructure,  helping our natural resources, and helping community businesses, but ultimately helping families heal. I am avaliable  to discuss this concept further. I am sharing this idea with Sherrod Brown and jill and Joe Biden. I can be be reached at 1-740-392-4472 or


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