New Analysis: G.O.P. Senate Tax Bill Would Increase Burden on Americans in Poverty by $140 Billion While Wealthiest Would Pay $833 Billion Less

12.04.2017

For Immediate Release: December 4, 2017

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

New Analysis: G.O.P. Senate Tax Bill Would Increase Burden on Americans in Poverty by $140 Billion

While Wealthiest Would Pay $833 Billion Less

“US poverty, hunger, and homelessness would skyrocket... this is Robin Hood blasted backwards at warp speed,” say advocates

The tax and health care bill just passed by the Senate G.O.P. would increase the financial burden on the 13 percent of Americans living in poverty by an estimated $140 billion over the next decade, while decreasing the burden on the wealthiest seven percent of Americans by $833 billion, according to a new analysis conducted by Hunger Free America, based on data from the official Congressional Budget Office.[i]  

People in poverty would pay a total of $3,448 more, while people earning more than $200,000 annually would receive an average of $36,217 back – with millionaires and billionaires getting back far more. The same bill provides a tax break for private jets and eliminates the estate tax for heirs receiving up to $22 million.

According to a USDA report, U.S. families experiencing food insecurity (meaning they can’t always afford enough food) spend $520 per year less on food per person than non-hungry families. That means that, over the course of a decade, a family of three in poverty would spend about $15,600 less on food than a non-hungry family. The extra tax and health care burden imposed by the Senate would further reduce the money they could spend on food.

Said, Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free, a nationwide direct service and advocacy organization: “The Senate G.O.P. tax bill creates an upside down reality in which the poorest Americans would need to pay more in taxes and for health care in order to fund tax breaks for billionaires and private jet owners.  This additional burden would make U.S. poverty, hunger, and homelessness – already at rates higher than in any other industrialized, Western nation – further soar. Adding insult to injury, because this bill explodes the federal deficit and debt, conservatives are already using it as an excuse to push for a further slashing of the food, health care, and housing safety net for struggling Americans. This bill manages to be both immoral and fiscally irresponsible at the time. This isn’t just Robin Hood in reverse – this is Robin Hood blasted backwards at warp speed.”     

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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[i] Hunger Free America’s analysis is based on a November 26, 2017 report of the Congressional Research Service entitled “Reconciliation Recommendations of the Senate Committee on Finance.” Page 10 of the report details, “net federal spending and revenues” by income, which shows that low-income people will pay far more for taxes and health care under the bill, while wealthy Americans will pay far less. This analysis combined the people earning less than $10,000 per year with those earning $10,000 to 20,000 per year, to come up with a decade-long aggregate of people earning $20,000 or less, paying $140 billion more for taxes and health care over the next decade. The official federal poverty rate for 2017 equaled $20,420 in annual income for a family of three, thus this analysis equates earning $20,000 or less with living in poverty.  According to the US Census Bureau, in 2016 12.7 percent of Americans lived in poverty, while seven percent earned $200,000 or more. To calculate the gains of the bill for people earning $200,000 or more, this analysis combined the people earning $200,000 to $500,000, $500,000 to $1,000,000, and $1,000 million or more.