A Democratic U.S. Senator whose notorious allegiance with Republicans has repeatedly prevented his Party’s legislative agenda from moving forward is being blamed in part for the nation’s jump in child poverty at a time when data shows inflation remains on the rise.
Citing statistics, critics strongly suggested that the growing child poverty rate could have been avoided had West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin simply voted along Party lines to renew the expanded child tax credit instead of allowing it to expire last year.
Child poverty rate:
There’s a way to call 2020-2022 “slow progress” and a way to call 2021-2022 “a total disaster” after the expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit.
— David Dayen (@ddayen) September 12, 2023
It was revealed on Tuesday that the nation’s overall poverty level, and especially that for children, rose sharply in the year after the pandemic-era American Rescue Plan’s additional financial benefits for children were not renewed last summer.
“Some 12.4% of children were in poverty last year, up from a record low of 5.2% the year before and roughly comparable to where it was prior to the pandemic in 2019, based on a broader alternative measure developed by the Census Bureau,” CNN reported. “It was the largest jump in child poverty since the Supplemental Poverty Measure began in 2009. The measure takes into account certain non-cash government assistance, tax credits and needed expenses – addressing a major flaw in the official poverty rate, economists say.”
If you’re still out here saying there’s NO difference between the parties, please understand this: in just 1 year we went from a record decrease in child poverty (cut in half) to a record INCREASE! The rate has more than DOUBLED since GOP and Joe Manchin () ended the tax credit https://t.co/WZJ62grfZi
— Cliff Albright (@cliff_notes) September 12, 2023
When the expanded child tax credit first went into effect a little more than two years ago, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen called it “a remarkable economic victory for America – and also a moral one” that would be a “step in reducing child poverty.”
Data from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy showed that nearly six months after the expanded child tax credit took effect, child poverty had already been reduced by up to 40% and food insecurity among low-income families was reduced by 25%.
Child poverty is a policy choice.
Joe Manchin chose to side with Republicans to push children into poverty.
— Melanie D’Arrigo (@DarrigoMelanie) September 12, 2023
But one year later, Manchin suggested without proof that the money was being used to buy drugs and said he would not support the expanded child tax credit being renewed as part of President Joe Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better agenda that also included benefits like free community college and reduced prescription costs.
Manchin’s dog-whistling about the expanded child tax credit fortified the Republican-led foundation of U.S. Senate resistance to Biden’s Build Back Better proposal which ultimately allowed the benefit to expire.
The expanded Child Tax Credit cut child poverty by nearly half.
Sinema, Manchin, and the GOP let it expire and child poverty spiked.
In the richest country in the world, it is inexcusable that millions of our children are living in poverty.
This is a policy choice. https://t.co/iWjcNQYbjS
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) September 12, 2023
In the months afterward, Vox reported that “Manchin dealt the final blow” to the child tax credit, a sentiment that has been largely accepted among political circles.
As such, once the new child poverty data was reported on Tuesday, scorn was quickly redirected back at Manchin, who has also been the target of similar blame when it comes to the U.S. Senate failing to advance civil rights legislation like voting rights and police reform.
REMINDER: This rise in child poverty is ENTIRELY on Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and the Republicans.
It was their CHOICE to block the expanded Child Tax Credit (which cut child poverty in half) and instead advance tax cuts for the wealthy.
This is a policy choice. https://t.co/hxYtfDVjBy
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) September 12, 2023
“Republicans could not have blocked the extension without the help of Joe Manchin,” journalist Judd Legum posted on the app formerly known as Twitter.
“Child poverty in the United States just more than doubled. You can thank Joe Manchin,” Mother Jones wrote.
I am not a hill reporter anymore, but you are, I am begging you to ask Joe Manchin whether he feels personally responsible for doubling the child poverty rate
— Austin Ahlman (@austinahlman) September 12, 2023
“Republicans and Joe Manchin made sure many more kids would be poorer last year than the year before,” MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan posted. “Disgusting. Reprehensible. Unforgivable.”
To be sure, the expanded child tax credit sent millions of working families earning up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a single parent monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without them having to take any action. Build Back Better proposed extending the same benefits for years.
Joe Manchin killed the expanded child tax credit, insisting there must be work requirements to stop reduced labor participation.
Data now show the tax credit didnt reduce LP.
Manchin lied & threw millions of kids into poverty.
Can’t wait for MSM to hold him accountable. https://t.co/1Hz4bp19Mc
— Dart (@Dartagan_Llore) September 12, 2023
The sobering news about child poverty rising came one day before it was reported that inflation was still raging with consumer prices growing even higher, particularly for gas.
Consumer prices rose by nearly 4% last month compared to the same period one year earlier and core inflation – which NBC News defines as “a measurement of cost increases that removes energy and food prices because of their volatility” – grew even more.
Child poverty skyrocketed from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022. That’s 5.2M MORE kids in poverty.
•It doubled b/c GOP + Manchin ended the child tax credit—which economists warned would increase poverty
•Poverty isn’t a life choice—reject policies that make it a life sentence
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) September 12, 2023
The combination of economic trends disproportionately affects Black and brown people. In particular, an extension of the expanded child tax credit was predicted to cut the Black poverty rate by at least 34%, then-White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement Trey Baker told NewsOne at the time.
In June, Reuters reported that Senate Democrats reintroduced child tax credit legislation that would make the expended benefits permanent. Among other things, the Working Families Tax Relief Act would increase the child tax credit to $3,000 for children aged 6-17 and $3,600 for children ranging up to 5 years old and make the credit fully refundable.
Childhood poverty doubled last year because Joe Manchin was “afraid” aid to families would be used for drugs.
And the Republicans are gearing up to try and impeach Joe Biden without any proof, evidence or a case.
Sad thing is Trump supporters (and left wing grifters) absolutely…
— J-L Cauvin – Pittsburgh 10/11 (@JLCauvin) September 12, 2023
Because we’re coming up on an election year, and data shows how popular the child tax credit was – more than half of all voters are in favor of the additional benefits, according to polling – a growing number of Republicans have stated their support for what Roll Call labeled as a “child tax credit compromise.”
Bringing back the expanded child tax credit and making it permanent is a no-brainer, Danielle Atkinson, the national executive director of Mothering Justice, wrote in an op-ed for NewsOne earlier this year.
This was a policy choice solely caused by Senator Joe Manchin who refused to renew the expanded child tax credit that cut childhood poverty in half. pic.twitter.com/1FAnrRnDdH
— confused (@coinssglobal) September 12, 2023
“If the federal government revives the Child Tax Credit, families would see that policymakers truly believe that all families – including early childhood educators – deserve access to a better quality of life. It can bring us one step closer to investing in a broken childcare system and eliminating child poverty,” Atkinson, who also founded the policy advocacy organization providing resources for mothers and caregivers, wrote. “The child tax credit is a proven policy that places families on a path of thriving, not just surviving. Legislators must prioritize children and families, and they must do so now. Our children and the mothers and caregivers who look after them deserve it. This is a point no one should argue.”
The post As Inflation Rages, Joe Manchin Blamed For Growing Child Poverty After Blocking Crucial Child Tax Credit appeared first on NewsOne.