Final Tax Bill Would Still Increase Poverty & Hunger

12.18.2017

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2017

Contact: Magen Allen Mallen@hungerfreeamerica.org, (212) 825-0028, ext. 212

Final Tax Bill Would Still Increase Poverty & Hunger

Minor Child Tax Credit Changes “Cosmetic Cover-Up” Say Advocates

The G.O.P. tax and health care about to be considered by both houses of Congress would still increase poverty and hunger -- and would decrease health coverage for low-income families -- in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest. Anti-Hunger advocates said the much-touted last-minute changes to the bill to increase Child Tax Credit (CTC) were “little more than a minor, cosmetic cover-up to hide the reality that this bill shafts low- and middle-income families to reward the mega rich.”

Fully 13 million Americans, many of whom are in low-income families, would lose health coverage under the bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Reported The New York Times: “Low-income families who claim the earned-income tax credit will lose out on at least $19 billion over the coming decade under the bill because of the change in the way inflation is calculated. And a new requirement that families claiming the child tax credit provide a Social Security number is projected to mean a big reduction in the families claiming it, since those who are not in the United States legally would be prohibited, even if their children were born in the United States.” In addition, “10 million children under 17 in the lowest-income working families — who already receive only a partial CTC or no credit at all — will either receive no improvement in the credit or a token increase of $1 to $75,” according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Responding to this new information, Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America and author of America We Need to Talk: a Self-Help Book for the Nation, said: “Neither the media nor the public should be fooled by the last-minute game of Three Card Monte played by the G.O.P. tax-writers who now claim they are helping people in poverty and the middle class. In reality, the final bill would both take away 19 billion in tax credits from the lowest income working families and take away health care from 13 million Americans. When low-income families have less money on hand, and have to pay more for health care, they have less money for food and they become hungrier.  The last-minute changes to the bill were little more than a minor, cosmetic cover-up to hide the reality that this bill shafts low- and middle-income families to reward the mega rich.”

Note: Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg, a highly experienced media spokesperson, is available to discuss these facts and related issues by contacting Magen Allen at mallen@hungerfreeamerica.org or by calling (212) 825-0028, ext. 212.

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