EITC Odd Couples

Which Odd Couples Are Starting Families Soon?

It’s Thanksgiving Week for the Pro-Family Act: Will baby bumps also be a bump for the economy —or- be a strain on relationships and the national budget? Welcome to Politically Strange Bedfellow Wednesday, when we dish on the odd couples for and against the Pro-Family FUN* Act and which might be expecting chicks sometime soon. *Foster Unwavering Nurture.

But first, some background. If you’re up to speed on the details, skip down to the odd couples.

Pro-Family Act and the Abortion Debate…

…Have nothing to do with each other. The Pro-Family Act and our Abortion SCALE compromise are two separate ideas, perhaps twins.

In the abortion debate, there are about the same number of viable fetuses terminated with legal abortion, as there are mothers who would go on to die in childbirth if abortions were illegal.

Finding the moral high ground is tough when the Abortion SCALE Act compromise eliminates about 6,000 deaths either way annually. Our Abortion SCALE Act is currently #11 on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL).

But, no paragraph on abortion law should end without discussing support for families that do go on to have children. That’s what the Pro-Family FUN Act is about.

What Could Be In
the Pro-Family FUN Act?

Pro-Family FUN Act would improve maternal health through expanded care programs and data gathering, providing financial relief via tax credits and tax-free diapers/baby items, removing marriage penalties in welfare programs, and increasing funding for adoption services.

A. Improves Maternal Health: The act enhances maternal well-being by expanding care programs and collecting data on causes of maternal mortality.

B. Financial Relief: Families benefit from increased tax credits, extended Medicaid coverage, and tax-free essential items like diapers.

C. Removes Marriage Penalties: The act eliminates financial disincentives for marriage, making it easier for couples to tie the knot without fiscal worries.

D. Expands Child Tax Credits: More families can take advantage of child tax credits, easing the financial burden of raising kids.

E. Protects Pregnant Workers: The act safeguards the employment rights of pregnant workers, ensuring they’re not discriminated against.

F. Funding for Adoption and Foster Care: Additional funding is allocated to support adoption and foster care systems, making it easier for children to find loving homes.

G. Parental Leave Accounts: New accounts allow parents to save money in a tax-advantaged manner for parental leave, providing financial security during crucial family moments.

H. Raises Limits on Dependent Care Accounts: The act increases the amount that can be contributed to dependent care accounts, offering more financial flexibility for families.

I. Deductible Caregiver Expenses: Expenses related to caregiving become tax-deductible, providing financial relief to those caring for family members.

J. Flexible Child Care Options: The act encourages a variety of childcare options through flexibility measures, pilot programs, and incentives.

K. Universal Pre-K: Access to preschool education becomes universal, setting children on a path to educational success early on.

L. Full-Day School and Year-Round Calendars: The act supports full-day schooling and year-round educational calendars, aiding working parents and enhancing educational outcomes.

M. Summer Programs: Additional summer programs are introduced to keep children engaged and assist working parents during school breaks.

All these solutions would also increase socialization, which appears to be in serious decline in the US. Each lettered point contributes to the act’s overarching goal: to have FUN while fostering unwavering nurture.

Does the Pro-Family Act break even?

The Act’s estimated annual cost of around $102 billion covers various initiatives, including maternal health, tax credits, adoption support, childcare, and educational programs.

Offsetting these costs are substantial long-term benefits. Crime-related costs could decrease by approximately $20 billion annually due to improved education, financial stability, and community cohesion. Moreover, the Act could enhance productivity significantly, potentially adding around $575 billion to the economy through workforce participation and productivity.

Considering the historic tax revenue to GDP ratio of 17%, this productivity boost could translate to over $90 billion in additional tax revenue. Coupled with the $20 billion savings in crime costs, the Pro-Family Act seems not only financially feasible but potentially self-sustaining while delivering considerable societal and economic benefits.

Is There a
Better Solution?

Maybe, there’s a dizzying amount of complexity to this subject, much like a two-year-old’s playtime. Perhaps a much simpler solution is to pay people a living wage, to begin with, the WELCOME Living Wage Employer Tax Credit and/or the P50L Earned Income Tax Credit. But we see public policy solutions as stand-alone ideas to score, so let’s get to it. In the coming months, we’ll be taking a look at the individual components of the Pro-Family package and rate them separately.

SPOILER
ALERT

If you’d prefer first to role-play this week’s puzzle, swoop over to the…

Puzzle of the Week

If you want to take a deep dive into this topic, to include how the Pro-Family Act might even pay for itself, then take a gander at the…

Puzzle Drop Introduction
MONDAY
Giving Thanks By Taking Care of Our American Family

Tiebreaker
TUESDAY
Feathering Our Future: The Pro-Family Call

Now, with tongues firmly in beaks, let’s dish on the odd couples for and against the Pro-Family FUN Act.

Odd Couples saying
—’NO’—

Planet First Democrats &
Raw Materials

How They Met: The Planet First Democrats and the Materials sector met online, brought together by a shared concern over the Pro-Family Act’s potential strain on the planet and free markets. Population growth is bad for the planet, and artificially restricting supply is good for profits.

Their First Fight: Tensions flared when priorities clashed; the Democrats’ push for sustainability met the Materials’ focus on economic growth. The Pro-Family Act’s implications became the battleground for an environmental versus industrial tussle.

Kiss and Makeup: Compromise blossomed with a picnic on the middle ground, as protecting the planet and profits are more important than just wanting bigger families.


Rural Full-Timers &
Landlords

How They Met: Rural Full-Timers and Landlords bonded over concerns of privacy and the costs of the Pro-Family Act. This alliance was a marriage of convenience.

Their First Fight: Debate ensued as tax hikes and rent hikes from the Act threatened their domestic bliss and nest egg.

Kiss and Makeup: They reconciled over shared values, agreeing to jointly defend their privacy and fiscal interests against the Act’s overreach.


Social Media &
Republican Leadership

How They Met: Social Media magnates and Republican Leadership united against the Pro-Family Act, fearing its vulnerability to abuse. This was a partnership forged in the digital public square.

Their First Fight: Was about free speech with hashtags, and trolls railing against entitlements got mud all over the virtual town square.

Kiss and Makeup: A digital detente ensued, with a renewed pledge to vigorously oppose the Pro-Family Act, aligning their online influence with fiscal responsibility.


Insurance &
Suburban Professionals

How They Met: The Insurance agents and Suburban Professionals found camaraderie in their critique of the Pro-Family Act’s blanket solutions, especially short-changing singles in the suburbs.

Their First Fight: Suburban Professionals started a fight over being insurance-poor, and the Agents retorted that sleeping well at night is priceless.

Kiss and Makeup: Ultimately, the force of their mutual attraction was undeniable, blending their expertise and influence to ensure the act would get axed.

Odd Couples saying
—’YES’—

USA Made &
Importers

How They Met: When USA Made met Importers, they were on either side of the supply chain but found unity under the Pro-Family Act. Both saw a boon for business and their relationship, one through new household formations and the other through global trade expansion.

Their First Fight: After a few drinks, the topic of tariffs caused a riff in their evening. The debate grew tense, with USA Made pushing for home turf advantage while Importers looked for greener borders.

Kiss and Makeup: Despite the friction, they decided there was enough business and love to go around, and that’s something they can both live with.


Moralist Republicans &
Ethicist Democrats

How They Met: Moralist Republicans heard an echo from the Ethicist Democrats, as both sought the moral high ground offered by the Pro-Family Act. Their passion converged on the Act’s compassion at any and every party.

Their First Fight: Yet, the path of righteousness was rocky, with disputes over the Act’s overreach and virtue signaling causing a schism. The Republicans advocated for traditional family values and an abortion ban, while the Democrats argued for humanist ethics and the right to choose.

Kiss and Makeup: After dark, their shared values led to reconciliation, as they blended their families’ moral and ethical beacons.


Urban Part-Time &
Rural Part-Time

How They Met: Urban Part-Time workers joined hands with their Rural Part-Time counterparts, rallying behind the Pro-Family Act’s promise of support for all working families, irrespective of zip code.

Their First Fight: Vying for a larger slice of the American pie, the Urbanites called for more childcare options, while the Ruralites needed better access to healthcare.

Kiss and Makeup: A compromise was their harvest, as they agreed to share the Pro-Family Act’s bounty, ensuring that both city dwellers and country folk could reap the benefits of part-time work without sacrificing family.


Democratic Doves &
Republican Hawks

How They Met: The Democratic Doves and Republican Hawks called a truce under the Pro-Family Act blanket. Peace and strength, seemingly at odds, were aligned in the goal of nurturing the nation’s families to secure a future where every child could soar, whether through military service or diplomacy.

Their First Fight: The peace was broken as Doves pushed for a larger safety net while Hawks sought work requirements. Their ideological feathers ruffled as they wrestled over the Act’s role in family and national security.

Kiss and Makeup: The truce was reinstated, both sides recognizing the need for dove-like gentleness and hawk-like vigilance in implementing the Pro-Family Act, ensuring soldiers for the future and domestic bliss. Their couple’s name became ‘Dowks’ because ‘Haves’ would have not been acceptable.

PolicyKeys
is based on the
Four Kinds of Love 

Self-sacrifice is giving of one’s self with no expectation of reciprocation. Think of a firefighter rushing into a burning building. 

Nurture is helping someone grow into their potential and keep up their momentum. Think of a coach, a parent, or a mentor. 

Tough-love is being able to invest in the personal pain of watching someone learn from their mistakes. Think of a boss, teacher, or a loved one drawing a line in the sand. 

Self-love isn’t narcissism. It’s knowing you can’t love another until you take care of yourself. Think about putting on your oxygen mask in an airplane before helping someone else. 

It’s ironic how much hate there is arguing about what kind of love should dominate public policy.

The Golden Rule barely holds on to a spot on the US Public Policy Leaderboard. What’s your mix of the four kinds of love on your best day?

Should We Pass a
Pro-Family Act?

POLI had support as VAST SUPERMAJORITY. Our editors agreed and were slightly more optimistic. We predict a 76% ±4 (11 roles) VAST SUPERMAJORITY of roles in this country to support the Pro-Family Act, including a majority of each of the four sides of the political tablemaking this a US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) worthy idea. 

90% and up Near Unanimous
80% – 89% Near Consensus
75% -79% VAST SUPERMAJORITY
67% – 74% Strong Supermajority
60% – 66% Supermajority
50% – 59% Majority

By Contrast

SCOTUS’s approval rating is 40%,
the media is 27%, and
Congress is 13%.

The average score of the policies on the PolicyKeys™ US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) Sweet Sixteen is 76%, with many above 80%Politics 4.0 is already a 2x to 5x better model of US political sentiment and direction than politics as usual.

The Four Dark
Political Emotions

Envy in Politics

  1. Consumers: Jealous of affluence, some support luxury taxes, disregarding potential harm to small businesses and their workers.
  2. Workers: Envious of higher pay, some advocate for wage caps, ignoring potential skill disincentives and loss of professional standards.
  3. Professionals: Chasing perfection, they may push for rigorous industry standards that, while well-intended, can limit consumer options.
  4. Owners: Coveting government influence, some call for privatization of liberty, causing less justice for others.

Spite in Politics

  1. Consumers: Upset with corporations, some call for tough rules, forgetting that this can increase costs for professionals and themselves.
  2. Workers: Angered by robots taking jobs, some want trade barriers, overlooking trade wars that hurt consumers and the economy.
  3. Professionals: Unhappy with industry shifts, some cling to old ways, missing the chance for growth and innovation that owners can bring.
  4. Owners: Annoyed by unions, some move their businesses overseas, neglecting local workers and weakening demand for their own products.

Sloth in Politics

  1. Consumers: Unhappy with product quality. Some abstain from political action, allowing inferior companies and poor regulations to persist.
  2. Workers: Dissatisfied with wages. Some avoid labor unions, missing an opportunity for change.
  3. Professionals: Aware of flaws, some stick with the status quo, risking harm to consumers and their livelihoods.
  4. Owners: Comfortable in their lifestyle, they don’t reinvest in their businesses to increase capacity, profits, and lower inflation.

Greed in Politics

  1. Consumers: Drawn to low prices, some buy imported goods that risk local jobs.
  2. Workers: Attracted to job security, some back grandfather clauses harming new hires.
  3. Professionals: Eager for profits, some lobby for lax regulations that compromise ethics.
  4. Owners: Focused on the bottom line, some ignore safety standards, risking worker well-being.

Love
Extremes

When taken too far, each political strength is prone to a political weakness.

Self-Sacrifice – Envy: Individuals who prioritize the needs of others might be prone to envy, as they may feel overlooked or undervalued compared to those they’re helping.

Nurture – Spite: Those who nurture and care for others may be more susceptible to spite when they perceive harm or injustice being done to those they care about.

Tough-Love – Sloth: Someone who employs tough love might feel it’s not reciprocated or effective, leading to a tendency toward sloth—why bother pushing others if it yields no result? “I don’t know why I bother?”

Self-Love – Greed: A focus on self-love could tip into greed, where self-care becomes self-serving to the point of a patent disregard of others.

If only we could find out what we can agree on before resuming the partisan prizefight.

Cue the
Patriotic Music

Imagine an America not paralyzed by political squawking. A Parrot-otopia oasis in a desert of division. Where the sounds of the silent super-majority drown out the droning of the hyper-partisan parrots.

We’ll be freed from the cages of entrenched ideology to fly higher in the big sky of American beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. To boldly go where no political parrot has gone before—rating solutions with a nonpartisan score.

Anthem

Where Can We Agree? 
(Why Don’t You Want To Know?)

Methodology

Politics 1.0 is each party wanting to be a one-party system. Then, Politics 2.0 is the two-party gridlock that blocks the silent supermajority from getting what they need. Next, Politics 3.0 is all the noise from special interest groups trying to influence us to see things their way. Finally, Politics 4.0 ranks solutions with a nonpartisan score and lets the best ideas rise up the leaderboard so people can choose.

Our One-Page Narrative Tool, game board, and AI are based on a ground truth:

There’s a time to save
and a time to spend,
a time for freedom
and a time for laws.
Where can we agree?”

This yields four legs of the political table: Abundance, Thrift, Governance, and Commerce, poetically our Political DNA, ACGT.

A Level Playing Field

The four sides of the table are…

Abundance Governance (AG)
National Public Sector and NGOs,

Abundance Commerce (AC)
Technology and New Businesses,

Thrift Government (TG)
Local Municipalities, Guilds, and Consumers, and

Thrift Commerce (TC)
Established Supply Chains and Jobs.

Each side has a bias for change and a bias for the status quo. We scan these eight Information Walls for Key YES and NO Reasons, no cherry-picking.

The Four Laws of
Public Policy Formation

The First Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with short-term focus will naturally protect their wages, jobs, status, profits, and wealth.

The Second Law of Public Policy Formation is that people with a longer-term focus place bets to make life better, longer, easier, or different.

The Third Law of Public Policy Formation is that the clash between the short-term and long-term causes noise, angst, conflict, and harm.

The Fourth Law of Public Policy Formation is to consider various solutions’ nonpartisan scores before making up your own mind.

A Treasure Hunt

We search for solutions with the highest hypothetical nonpartisan rating. Something that would solve 80% of the problem with the simplest 20% solution. The Pareto principle, hence a parrot-topia.

The Political Parrots have a Key reason they don’t want us to know about because it ruins their argument. We search for these, like a treasure hunt, and sort them using our EMIT format: Emotions, Money, Information, and Timespan. We listen for these key signals in the political noise.

Key Reasons can look similar, so we edit for redundancy and look for errors, omissions, and innovations.

Definition of
Political Parrots

Are you making up your own mind or marching to the beat of a political parrot?

  1. Political Parrots get paid to squawk the same thing over and over again.
  2. They don’t listen if you’re not paying.
  3. They don’t fully understand what they’re saying.
  4. They are charming and sport every color.

We look to filter out the GRIFTERS, Gaslighting, Red-herrings, Idolizing, False-dilemmas, Tunnel-vision, Exclusions, Reductions, and Straw-man arguments. 

We think you can think for yourself. Where can we agree?

Birds of a Feather AI

Once the Key Reasons are set, we prescore the puzzle using the Birds of a Feather AI for loose ties to beliefs, attitudes, values, and ethics. Over 16 million combinations are possible for the 128 roles. The game board starts balanced at zero, with an equal bias for change and the status quo.

We then prescore the puzzle using 56 arch-type roles that best embody each of the 56 loose ties. This yields a general bias for change or status quo and reveals ties.

The editors review all 128 roles for specific reasons and overrule the general AI where necessary. These are noted in the Tuesday Tiebreaker article.

Then, we score the puzzle on all four sides of the Political Table: eight Information Walls, sixteen Subcultural Windows, sixteen Bias Columns, and sixteen Influence Rows.

SAT9 AI

When the scoring is done, a second AI looks for inconsistencies using the SAT9 AI filter (Situational Assessment Tool). This is 256 ‘supreme courts’ where each role is the chief justice in a presumed 5-4 and 4-5 bench. This generates a ± error margin.

The engine for the AI is our One Page Narrative Tool (OPNT), which we gamified for role-playing at policykeys.com. We call our AI, POLI for Political Omnibus Leadership Initiative.

You can read more about PolicyKeys™ in the upcoming book, Politics 4.0: How Gamification, AI, and National Idea Leaderboards Can Help You Depolarize the World. The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recognized PolicyKeys™ for digital engagement.

Weekly
Puzzle

new PolicyKeys™
Where Can We Agree?® puzzle 
drops every 
Monday at 7 a.m. Eastern at PolicyKeys.com.

PolicyKeys™ Where Can We Agree? is a real-life role-playing game. Each week, there are sixteen sets of eight ‘rival’ roles. Sit awhile in each of their eight chairs and predict whether most people in those roles would say Yes or No to the week’s question.

The best ideas land on the US Public Policy Leaderboard (US-PPL) if a majority of each of the four sides of the political table agree.

YOU CAN PLAY THIS WEEK’S PUZZLE AT POLICYKEYS.COM.

Fly
Higher

What the data says about Abortion in the US
Pew

Death in the United States
Statista

Births in the United States
Statista

We disagree on abortion. Here’s a pro-family agenda both parties can support.
Washington Post Opinion

This is what a faith-based pro-family agenda looks like
Sojourners

A Conservative case for a pro-family policy
Public Discourse

How much does it cost to raise a child?
USA Facts

17% of US Families with Children are Food Insecure
USDA

Family Homelessness
National Alliance to End Homelessness

63% of Americans are Living Paycheck to Paycheck
CNBC

Bankruptcies have surged 17% in the first half of 2023
Reuters

Protecting the Sovereign’s Money Monopoly
Yale

Almost Half of Workers are in Low Paid Jobs
CBS

US Maternal Mortality Rates
Statista

The US Middle Class Has Shrunk by 11% in Five Decades
Pew Research

Poll: Views on Family Policy
Lake Research Partners

Which States Still Tax Diapers
Kiplinger

Marriage Calculator
Urban Institute

Fifteen States Have A Marriage Tax Penalty
Smart Asset

Universal Pre-K
Alliance for Early Success

Long-Term Gain for Longer School Days
Journal of Human Resources

The Pros and Cons of Year-Round Schooling
US News and World Report

How Welfare Programs Discourage Marriage:
The Case for Pre-K Education Subsidies
Heritage Foundation

Eight Adoption Grants You Should Know About
Lifesong

Government Funding for Adoption
Family Education

DCFSA: Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts
PayFlex

Innovations for Universal Child Care
New America

70 Innovative Companies Leading the Way on Parental Leave
National Partnership for Women and Families

Social and Emotional Learning
CASEL

2023 US GDP Estimate
Statista

Providing For Life Act
Rubio.Senate.Gov

Pro-Family Fiscal Policy
Institute for Family Studies

Freeing American Families
CATO

The Parent Trap
Brookings Institute

Universal Preschool: Congress Should Proceed With Caution
CATO

It takes guts to see things from all four sides of the political table.
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