Census' Supplemental Poverty Measure Confirms that Tax Credits Lift Millions out of Poverty

November 20, 2012
by Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Last Thursday, the U.S. Census released more data regarding poverty in the U.S. in 2011. This Supplemental Poverty Measure shows that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are still two of the most successful provisions helping children and families in poverty. The data shows that in 2011, the EITC and CTC lifted 8.7 million people out of poverty; without them, the child poverty rate would have been nearly seven percentage points higher.  In addition, SNAP and unemployment insurance are also lifting millions out of poverty each year.

Meanwhile, yesterday Half in Ten released their second annual report tracking progress toward our goal to cut poverty in America. They hosted an event in Washington, which you can watch online, and read the entire report including fact sheets by state and by indicator. In addition to Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, Bishop Gene Robinson and our friend Debbie Weinstein of the CoalitioCensus Supplemental Poverty Measure: Impact of EITC, SNAPn on Human Needs, they opened the event with a powerful “share” from a low-income single mother from Philadelphia who is active in Witnesses to Hunger – be sure to check it out for a dose of inspiration.

TAKE ACTION: Call the tax aides in your House and both Senate offices, sharing the new Census data (including this graph), urging them to tell their bosses to make sure expiring improvements to the EITC and CTC are extended and that these credits are protected in deficit reduction. You can find the names of tax aides for your members of Congress on the RESULTS Elected Officials page. addition, SNAP and unemployment insurance are also lifting millions out of poverty each year. Our friends at the Center for American Progress break it down with this helpful graph.

Once connected, use the talking points to help in your conversations in the November Action and be sure to urge the aide to ask his/her boss to speak to Senate (Sens. Reid/McConnell) or House (Reps. Boehner/Pelosi) leadership, requesting that they make the expiring improvements to the EITC and CTC permanent and support a principle that specifically protects the EITC and CTC from cuts in any deficit reduction framework. If you have any questions or would like coaching before making your calls, please contact Meredith Dodson ([email protected]) or Jos Linn ([email protected]) on the RESULTS U.S. Poverty staff.



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