November 2, 2017

Tax Reform Should Not Harm Low-Income Families

U.S. Capitol Building. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World released today “Tax Policy Is a Hunger Issue,” which outlines four tax policy priorities that can help families struggling with hunger and poverty. The release of the document comes as Congress begins debate on tax reform legislation.

“Tax policy is clearly a hunger issue,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The big changes to tax policy that are being considered will significantly impact Americans who are struggling with hunger and poverty.”

Bread’s priorities for tax reform legislation are: increase equity and fairness in the tax code; maintain and strengthen tax credits for low-income workers; do not finance tax cuts for high-income people by cutting programs that help low-income people; and encourage work and allow new markets to flourish.

The tax code can be changed to benefit low-income families. The child tax credit (CTC) and the earned income tax credit (EITC) combined do more to encourage work and reduce hunger and poverty than any other government program. Increasing eligibility for the CTC and EITC would help move millions more Americans out of hunger and poverty.

The New Market Tax Credit has done more to reduce the number of food deserts than any other program to date, and has created up to 750,000 jobs.

Funding tax cuts by increasing deficit spending will almost certainly lead to cuts in low-income programs, such as SNAP and Medicaid. In fact, the budget resolution proposed $1.5 trillion in deficit spending for the cuts also outlined more than $2 trillion in cuts to low-income programs.

“We urge lawmakers to pass tax policies that expand opportunity for, rather that harm, low-income Americans,” Beckmann said.

Tools
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

  • 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.

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

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