November 7, 2017

House Tax Bill Harms Low-Income Families

U.S. Capitol Building. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today expressed concern that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, introduced in the House of Representatives, will harm low-income families. 

The same budget resolution that permits $1.5 trillion in deficit spending for tax cuts outlines more than $2 trillion in cuts to low-income programs such as SNAP and Medicaid.

The direct benefits of the House tax bill would go mainly to high-income people, with mixed impacts among middle-income families and no help for low-income families.

In fact, it could load lots of new paperwork and delay on many low-income workers who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. It would end the Child Tax Credit for three million children in low-income immigrant families. The average annual income for these working families is $21,000 a year, and they would lose an average of $1,800.

The bill also eliminates the New Market Tax Credit, which has done more to fight food deserts than any other program to date and has created up to 750,000 jobs in low-income communities.  

The bill’s defenders argue that it will boost the job market. While deficit spending is likely to boost to the economy, the corporate sector already has cash reserves they are not investing, and high-income people tend to spend less of their income than low- and middle-income people.

“This tax bill is part of an unprecedented push to shift resources from low-income to high-income people,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “It’s hard to see how shifting resources from low-income to high-income people will create jobs.”

Beckmann is both a Lutheran pastor and an economist. 

Last week, Bread released “Tax Policy Is a Hunger Issue,” which outlines how tax reform could be used to help low-income families and reduce hunger. 

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.


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