This week at CBPP, we focused on the federal budget and taxes, family income support, state budgets and taxes, food assistance, health, poverty and inequality, and the economy.
The President’s executive order to address food hardship is a strong response to families’ immediate hardship during the COVID crisis and takes an important step, consistent with congressional direction from the 2018 Farm Bill, to re-evaluate the adequacy of SNAP benefits in helping low-income Americans afford an adequate diet.
President Biden’s emergency relief plan includes $1 billion to help states deliver much-needed aid to families with the lowest incomes through state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs — which would mark an important step in the federal response to today’s extraordinary hardship across America.
The sizeable revenue shortfalls and added costs that states, localities, tribal nations, and territories face due to COVID-19 call for added federal aid that’s temporary but significant.
Biden-Harris Child Tax Credit Expansion Would Lift 10 Million Children Above or Closer to Poverty Line
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion emergency relief plan includes a Child Tax Credit expansion that would lift 9.9 million children above or closer to the poverty line, including 2.3 million Black children, 4.1 million Latino children, and 441,000 Asian American children. It also would lift 1.1 million children out of “deep poverty,” raising their family incomes above 50 percent of the poverty line.
The emergency relief plan that President-elect Biden announced yesterday would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for over 17 million adults not raising children at home who work hard at important, but low-paid, jobs. The EITC is a highly successful wage subsidy that’s earned bipartisan support over the years, but the current credit largely excludes adults who aren’t raising children in their homes, and it completely excludes young childless adults trying to gain a toehold in the labor market. The President-elect’s plan recognizes that now’s the time to fix this glaring flaw.
This week at CBPP, we focused on the economy, the federal budget and taxes, state budgets and taxes, health, family income support, food assistance, Social Security, and poverty and inequality.
Concerns about growing federal debt should not dissuade policymakers from enacting additional measures to respond to COVID-19 and the economic crisis it spurred, such as those President-elect Biden proposed yesterday. Although the debt is expected to reach new highs even without those measures, federal interest payments — which are the inescapable cost of debt — are low and projected to remain so for many years due to historically low interest rates.
President Trump sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act and, short of achieving full repeal, his Administration took many steps to undermine coverage and limit access to care — as we outline in a new brief (summarizing our comprehensive Sabotage Watch tracker). The Biden Administration will need to reverse these policies to achieve its goals of expanding health coverage and improving health equity.
Along with pushing for full ACA repeal, President Trump also took administrative actions throughout his time in office that caused people to lose coverage or made coverage less comprehensive or less affordable.
President-elect Biden’s emergency relief proposal is a substantial, responsible plan that would significantly reduce the hardship that millions of people across the country are now facing.
Alongside legislation to expand health coverage and make it more affordable, the Biden Administration can take administrative actions to reduce the uninsured rate, begin to address disparities in health coverage, and improve the affordability and quality of coverage for many people.
As states enter their 2021 legislative sessions, lawmakers in several states including Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia are calling for cutting personal income taxes. This would sap revenues needed for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and threaten states’ recovery from the recession. And, by weakening state finances, it would undermine efforts to advance racial justice — just when growing understanding of the nation’s shameful history of racism, as well as white supremacist opposition to American democracy itself, demand the opposite approach.
The jobs recovery that began in May 2020 had run out of steam by the time the end-of-year legislation was enacted, the latest jobs report shows.
This week at CBPP, we released a statement from CBPP President Sharon Parrott on the events of January 5-6 in Georgia and Washington, D.C., stating that our democracy’s peaceful levers of change, not lies and violence, should be celebrated and strengthened.
Our analyses this week focused on poverty and inequality, food assistance, state budgets and taxes, the economy, health, and Social Security.
A large and growing number of people are struggling to meet basic needs, according to Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data released this week, and households with children in particular have had trouble affording enough food.
Parrott: Our Democracy’s Peaceful Levers of Change, Not Lies and Violence, Should Be Celebrated and Strengthened
While we are relieved that some sense of democratic order was restored, we remain deeply troubled by the events of this day and the fractures in our country they reveal once again.
- Data matching effectively identifies large numbers of adjunctively eligible families who are not participating in WIC
- Text outreach can positively impact WIC certification rates, particularly for Medicaid participants
- Texting is a practical mode of communicating with WIC-eligible families
- Parts of the WIC certification process pose barriers to adjunctively eligible families
Our site will slow down posting material for the next week-plus, but we’ll be back on our regular schedule when we return after New Year’s. We wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.
This week at CBPP, we focused on poverty and inequality and food assistance.
Millions of struggling people cannot wait any longer. Despite its gaps, the bipartisan COVID relief agreement should be enacted without any further delay.