Richest nation in the world with some of the lowest effective tax rates in the industrialized world for wealthy citizens and we also have the highest rate of child poverty among advanced nations. It is untenable. This is the result of “trickle down economics” which cuts taxes for the rich and cuts spending for the most vulnerable … like kids. We can afford $4.3 trillion in tax cuts for millionaires but we can’t afford to feed every child on American soil? Conservatives like to talk about how exceptional the country is, but they only seem to care about the child pre-birth, because despite all their rhetoric – their track record shows once a woman gives birth to a child … you’re on your own.
The Economic Policy Institute writes HERE:
While the overall relative poverty rate in the United States is higher than that of peer countries, the extent of child poverty is even more severe, as shown in Figure D. In 2009, the United States had the highest rate of child poverty among peer countries, at 23.1 percent—meaning that more than one in five children in the United States lived in poverty (as measured by the share of children living in households with household income below half of median household income). This level is almost five times as high as that of Iceland, which had the lowest level, at 4.7 percent, and over two times higher than the (unweighted) peer-country average of 9.8 percent.
And we should be able to fix this. CommonDreams writes HERE:
There are 16.4 million poor children in rich America, 7.4 million living in extreme poverty. A majority of public school students and more than three out of four Black and Hispanic children, who will be a majority of our child population by 2019, are unable to read or compute at grade level in the fourth or eighth grade and will be unprepared to succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy. Nearly eight million children are uninsured. More children were killed by guns in 2008-2009 than U.S. military personnel in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to date. A Black boy born in 2001 has a one in three chance of going to prison in his lifetime; a Latino boy a one in six chance of the same fate.
For example, when we looked closely at poor children across the nation, ten states plus the District of Columbia had child poverty rates of 25 percent or higher: Mississippi was the highest at 32.5 percent, followed by D.C., New Mexico, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Only New Hampshire had a child poverty rate of 10 percent or lower. When it comes to ensuring equal chances for children everywhere in our country we have a long way to go. And when we realize that nationwide a child is born into poverty every 29 seconds it should sound alarms from coast to coast.
You can download the entire report on the State of America’s Children HERE.
But the Republican party is pushing for huge cuts to tax credits for the poor; as I wrote HERE:
Now Republicans in the House have voted as per their budget (the Ryan plan) twice now in the past two years to strip away all of these protections for Americans. All of those Americans who were displaced when the banks totally screwed over the country … yeah – you need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps apparently. They want us to go back to THIS. But it gets worse:
- Conservatives have voted to gut early education funding (source)
- Conservatives have voted to cut food stamps affecting as many as 3 million people a year (source)
- Conservatives want to raise taxes on the bottom 50% of Americans who are not paying INCOME taxes currently (source)
- Conservatives are blocking any increases for minimum wage laws (source)
- Republican support for aid to the poor is at a 25 year low (source)
- Conservatives have voted to cut spending on free lunch programs that affect almost 300,000 children a year (source)
- Conservatives voted to take $3.3 trillion out of the social safety net in the same bill that would reduce taxes for millionaires (source)
- Conservative programs over the past 20 years have led to a dramatic rise in child poverty (source)
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