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

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • 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. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • 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.

For Advocacy


African at Heart

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