In the Media

CNN: Poverty is a Policy Choice We Can’t Afford to Make Anymore

09. 14. 2023

“70% of voters support expanding the Child Tax Credit.”

“No matter who we are or where we come from, we all believe that kids grow up with a roof over their heads and food on the table. We live in the richest country in the world and that is where Senator Booker is right, it is a policy choice. With 9 million living in poverty, it is a choice we can’t make anymore. Fortunately, we have a tried and tested solution in the Child Tax Credit and we need to get it expanded.

The key is that four out of five voters agree we should have no more tax breaks for wealthy corporations unless there is support for support and working-class families. So this year republicans have corporate tax breaks that they want to pass. Democrats have said that their top priority is to expand the child tax credit and I think those are the ingredients for a bipartisan deal that we could see happen before the end of this year in Congress.

We can’t afford to have 9 million people growing up in poverty. Every dollar that we spend on lifting kids out of poverty pays off over the course of their lifetimes through improved educational outcomes and health outcomes. It pays itself back eight to ten times. So this is a smart investment and, of course, it is the right thing to do to make sure kids are growing up in families that can keep their heads above water.

Last year we saw millions more kids, with the tax credit checks going out, with food, shelter, and clothing. And this year we see a historic one-year jump in the number of kids up to 9 million who are struggling. But I think it is really clear for voters, that 70% of voters support expanding the child tax credit and that includes Black and Latino voters who tend to lean toward Democrats and it includes white working-class voters who tend to lean toward Republicans. So this is something that most Americans agree is a priority and that’s why we are seeing the big wave of momentum in the states to expand child tax credits. 

We’re seeing momentum in the states. Expanding child tax credits this year, the number of states has doubled in the past two years. But we can’t let it be a patchwork. Growing up in poverty shouldn’t depend on what zip code you grow up in. so we need the federal government to do its part as well.”