Benefit for all or just for the needy? The debate centered on the demand for munchkin

In a private meeting with Mr Biden and about a dozen House Democrats in swing-districts on Tuesday, the prospect of limiting those promising two years of free community college emerged as part of a wider discussion about the program. Representative Susan Wilde, Democrat of Pennsylvania.

But, he said, “the general sentiment was, we shouldn’t be means-testing on universal child care, or call it universal preschool.”

“It’s completely out of the child’s control, obviously, and, it’s an unreasonable obstacle,” she said.

The politics of debate is dirty. Republicans like to attack Democrats in order to profit from the rich. They caricature tax credits meant as a subsidy for Tesla owners to switch the country to electric vehicles and mock federally paid family and medical leave by singling out executives who already benefit from their companies. They warn that the children of millionaires will be among those going to community college for free.

“The Democrat Party has become the party of the rich and affluent,” Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, wrote in an essay for the Washington Examiner published Tuesday.

Many of the allegations are exaggerated. Children of millionaires may or may not be coming to community college for free. Ms. Sherrill’s amendment removed the income limit on child care tax assistance, but the benefit is still set to limit child care costs to no more than 7 percent of family spending. For truly affluent families, childcare is a much lower percentage than that, so subsidies will still be limited. The one-million-dollar asset cap still applies to the program as well.

And as Republicans argue that spending helps the rich, they skew tax increases clearly aimed at the wealthy.

Still, allegations can be made.

“There are programs where I say, if the government is helping someone like me, that money is probably coming from someone who needs it the most,” Mr. Kaine said.

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