Letter: On Reducing Child Poverty - Tax Policy
On June 18th, 2019, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to the Leadership of the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Ways and Means and in support of changes to the tax code that lift children out poverty.
As you continue to work through a range of tax legislation addressing retirement security, the redesign of the Internal Revenue Service, an extension of temporary tax credits, and other important updates to the tax code, I write on behalf of First Focus Campaign for Children to urge you to adopt critical changes to our tax code that would reduce child poverty significantly in the near-term. As a bipartisan children’s advocacy group dedicated to ensuring that our children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions, child poverty reduction remains a chief priority for our organization. Unfortunately, child poverty remains stubbornly high in the United States, and despite economic growth and low unemployment rates, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 17.5 percent, nearly 13 million children in the U.S., lived in poverty in 2017.
This past February, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a landmark study, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, confirming that child poverty is a solvable problem when there is the political will to address it. Additionally, First Focus Campaign for Children has provided an analysis distilling the nearly 600-page study to highlight the findings and policy options we find most compelling, provide commentary on how its policy and program options line up with current legislative efforts, and add contextual factors to consider for effective implementation of these policy options. Written by a committee of the nation’s leading experts on child poverty, this study puts forward an evidence-based policy agenda that, if prioritized and implemented by our nation’s lawmakers, would achieve the goal of cutting our child poverty rate in half within a decade. Modifications to the tax code are paramount to achieving that goal.