by Art Woolf
One of the biggest proposals Governor Shumlin made in his inaugural address is to reduce Vermont's earned income tax credit and redirect $17 million into child care subsidies. The EITC goes directly to low income workers and provides a big incentive for them to participate in the labor market.
Presumably, Governor Shumlin wants to reduce the rewards to work because "the research" shows that the state can get a better return on that $17 million by spending it on child care subsidies than by putting it directly into the hands of low income Vermonters.
"The research" is not so clear cut. As Tim Taylor notes in a post titled "Head Start is Failing its Test":
Basically, the report shows that Head Start provides short-term gains to preschool children, but those gains have faded to essentially nothing by third grade.
And that from someone who is (or was) a big supporter of early childhood education.
The report was not published by some right wing or free market think tank, unless you think that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services qualifies under one of those categories.
Maybe the $17 million would be better spent on the earned income tax credit, which lets low income workers decide for themselves the best way to spend that money, rather than some government officials in Montpelier.