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About 13 Million US Children Are Living Below the Poverty Line, Rights Group Reveals
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=290"><span class="small">Chris McGreal, Guardian UK</span></a>   
Wednesday, 01 May 2019 08:15

McGreal writes: "A leading children's rights group has called for a doubling of the federal minimum wage and wider access to housing subsidies to end the 'moral travesty' of millions of children living in poverty while the wealthiest Americans get tax cuts."

The CDF said poverty stacks the odds against children for life. (photo: Annie Otzen/Getty Images)
The CDF said poverty stacks the odds against children for life. (photo: Annie Otzen/Getty Images)


About 13 Million US Children Are Living Below the Poverty Line, Rights Group Reveals

By Chris McGreal, Guardian UK

01 May 19


Children’s Defense Fund says doubling federal minimum wage and increased tax credits would cut ‘moral travesty’ of child poverty

leading children’s rights group has called for a doubling of the federal minimum wage and wider access to housing subsidies to end the “moral travesty” of millions of children living in poverty while the wealthiest Americans get tax cuts.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) said in a new report that about 13 million American children are living in homes with incomes below the poverty line, depriving many of a decent education and proper nutrition, and putting them at risk of homelessness and violence. Two-thirds of those living in poverty are children of colour.

“No child should have to worry where her next meal will come from or whether she will have a place to sleep each night in the wealthiest nation on Earth. Yet more than 12.8 million children in America – about one in five – live in poverty and face these harsh realities every day,” said the report, Ending Child Poverty Now.

The CDF said poverty stacks the odds against children for life, affecting their development and opportunities. About one in three live in families where at least one adult is in a full-time but often poorly paid job.

The organisation calls for sweeping action by Washington. It said that a combination of more than doubling the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour within five years, increased tax credits and widening childcare subsidies would cut child poverty by more than half. Increasing access to housing subsidies to low-income families on less than 150% of the poverty level of $25,100 a year for a family of four, would alone lift 2 million children out of poverty.

“Child poverty is an urgent and preventable crisis. Solutions to child poverty in our nation already exist – we just need to invest in and expand them,” the report said. “Benefits like nutrition assistance, housing vouchers and tax credits helped lift nearly 7 million children out of poverty in 2017, but millions of children were left behind due to inadequate funding, eligibility restrictions and low wages. We can and must do more.”

The report estimates the cost of the measures at $52bn, just 1.4% of federal spending.

“This is a bargain our nation – which in 2017 spent nearly $2tn on tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations – can easily afford. Every dollar invested in reducing child poverty will return at least seven dollars to our economy,” the report said.

“The question is not whether we have the knowledge or resources to end child poverty, but whether we have the moral decency and political will.”

MaryLee Allen, the CDF’s policy director, said she is encouraged that there appears to be greater discussion about poverty at a federal level, and that some states are taking the initiative.

“I think that’s what gives us encouragement is that we can see some action that we haven’t seen in the past. A number of states have approved increases in the minimum wage,” she said. “In a country as rich as ours there is no excuse, there’s no reason. It’s a moral travesty.”

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0 # DongiC 2019-05-01 09:38
US treatment of poor children and impoverished immigrant kids is simply disgraceful. Perhaps, the only way this racist nation will learn how to act decently towards the offspring of the poor is to get hammered in return. Such a program is being put together. It is sure to startle residents of DC.