The U.S. Census Bureau says that child poverty in this nation skyrocketed last year. Child poverty rates in 2021 had reached an all-time low of 5.2%. In 2022, however, that number soared to 12.4%.
The reasons child poverty in the United States more than doubled in a single year are not disputed. It’s because of the expiration of the Republican-hated expanded child tax credit and the shift away from providing direct monthly payments to at-risk families.
The Washington Post:
“By far this is the largest annual increase in U.S. history for both children and the overall population in terms of poverty, going back to 1967,” said Zachary Parolin, a senior research fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy. “In 2021 we had the lowest child poverty rate on record, largely due to the expansion of the child tax credit. It worked in reducing poverty; it worked in making life better for people. Then it expired, and Congress did not renew it. And now we are seeing the largest increase in child poverty in U.S. history. We are back to around where we were pre-pandemic.”
Also The Washington Post, same story:
Tuesday’s Census release is “a story of what could have been,” said Arloc Sherman, vice president for data analysis and research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “The pandemic showed that we could stand up policies that could help families. These numbers underscore how much poverty is a policy choice.”
So there you go. We discovered a way to slash the number of children in poverty by over half, quick and simple. Then we stopped because Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin demanded we stop. It won’t be enacted again so long as the same pro-coup Republicans are in control of the House and can stop it.
It’s because they don't care. There's no larger story there. We know how to lift children out of poverty. It's cheap and straightforward. But the people huffing and puffing for fossil fuel companies to get better tax treatment and for rich people to always pay less in tax each year than they did the year before do. Not. Care. They’ve never cared. They pride themselves on not caring. They go to church and quote from Bibles and will tell you up, down, and sideways how truly offensive it would be to feed children when the nation’s richest people could instead buy slightly larger private jets.
In a statement, President Joe Biden said, "Today's Census report shows the dire consequences of congressional Republicans' refusal to extend the enhanced Child Tax Credit, even as they advance costly corporate tax cuts. ... The rise reported today in child poverty is no accident—it is the result of a deliberate policy choice congressional Republicans made." That statement ignores Manchin's role in sabotaging the program, but it's true Manchin wouldn't be in that position if there were any Republicans in the Senate who have a flying damn about anything but the lobbyist class.
We can't spoil grade-schoolers by letting them eat, not when there are new defense contracts to be had and oil companies are practically withering away with the expense of having to pay a pittance to drill on public land.
"I will continue to fight to restore the expanded Child Tax Credits to give tens of millions of families the tax relief and breathing room they deserve," said Biden. This is the sort of statement that should make decent people curl up and die, because having to "fight" for a relatively cheap, obviously helpful program makes us sound like a garbage country filled with dirtbags rather than whomever your average flag-waver imagines themselves to be when they're watching Fox News or attending their little Trump rallies.
We could fix this tomorrow if we wanted. A couple of votes and a signature are all it takes. Republicans aren't going to do that, because they don't give a shit. They’d rather impeach Biden in retaliation for their guy getting indicted. They’d rather strip federal funds from those investigating Donald Trump. And then these assholes, almost every one of them, strolls into church on Sunday and claims to be better than everyone else.
We have seen this too many times, and we know exactly how it plays out. The cruelty is the point, and it's always been the point, and it's not going to change anytime soon because the more vicious politicians can be toward poor children, the more the conservative base giggles and waves their cheap imported flags.
Sign the petition: Child poverty has doubled. Bring back the child tax credit
Kerry talks with Drew Linzer, director of the online polling company Civiqs. Drew tells us what the polls say about voters’ feelings toward President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and what the results would be if the two men were to, say … run against each other for president in 2024. Oh yeah, Drew polled to find out who thinks Donald Trump is guilty of the crimes he’s been indicted for, and whether or not he should see the inside of a jail cell.
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