Saturday, June 25, 2022

Guarantee permanent income for children in poverty.

May 16, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

( April 18, 2022, was Tax Day in the United States.

The day was an especially sad reminder that the refundable, monthly expanded Child Tax Credit [CTC], that ended in December 2021, was short lived. The expanded CTC was a lifeline that lifted 3 million children above the federal poverty line in a single month by providing families much-needed cash to afford the basics.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted 90% of families with incomes below $35,000 spent CTC resources on food, utilities, housing, clothing, or education. It was proof in real time that we know how to end child poverty, and we can do it when we find the political will.


But now we are seeing what happens when that will is not sustained. When Congress let the expanded CTC expire after six months, within just one month child poverty spiked by more than 40% and nearly 3.7 million children, including 662,000 Black children and 1.3 million Latino children, fell below the federal poverty line.

We will not stop fighting. The Children’s Defense Fund is a co-chair of the Automatic Benefit for Children (ABC) Coalition, organizations working to create a permanent child allowance, or a guaranteed income, for children in the U.S. Many families that desperately needed the cushion the CTC provided were left back in the same stressful positions. It ended just as prices for basics like food and gas were rising sharply. The ABC Coalition recently sent a letter to Congress demanding they prioritize tax breaks for families and children rather than corporations that reads in part:

“According to a recent report from Moody’s Analytics, inflation is costing the average U.S. family an additional $296 per month, an amount roughly equivalent to one monthly payment of the expanded CTC for a single child. This pandemic-fueled inflation is compounding a longer-term trend: the cost of raising children has been rising faster than inflation for decades . . . Last year, the expanded CTC helped families deal with pandemic-related spikes in the costs of goods like gas and food and longer-term increases in expenses like child care. In 2021, a couple with two young children paid on average about $1,000 more for food and gas than before the pandemic.

“Many of the families who used monthly CTC payments to cover their basic needs do not have the savings to cover the increased costs of living. When inflation hits, corporations can weather the storm and even turn record profits by raising prices beyond the rate of inflation, but families don’t have that luxury.”

Children and families deserve a permanent solution. That’s also why the CDF is calling on Congress to enact measures like the ”Babies over Billionaires Act” introduced by U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York), and co-leads Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey), and Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pennsylvania).

It would allow taxation of the unrealized capital gains of the top 0.01% of American taxpayers with over $100 million in assets, about 700 billionaires, and invest that money in programs that support families and children in the Departments of Health and Human Services and Education.

Right now Tax Day is still a reminder of our nation’s misguided priorities, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. We must envision and realize an America where every child has enough. God did not make two classes of children and we do so at our peril.

Written by Marian Wright Edelman

Official website

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!