The Columbian’s Sept. 13 article “Census: Inequality last year grew, but child poverty dropped” discussed a recent Census Bureau report about poverty in the U.S.
The report showed that temporary expansion of the child tax credit, which was part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, helped reduce childhood poverty from 9.7 percent in 2020 to 5.2 percent last year. That is a stunning 46 percent decrease in just one year. In Washington alone, nearly 1.4 million children in nearly 800,000 families benefited from the expanded child tax credit.
Surveys of households that received the credit indicate the extra money was used to pay household expenses, buy clothing and essentials for children, pay for child care and save for emergencies. In essence, lower-income families used the money the same way middle-income families do — to provide a healthy, safe and stable environment for their children.
Unfortunately, Congress let the expansion expire in December. Poor families who had been given a lifeline had it jerked away. I urge our congresswoman and senators to take a significant step toward eliminating childhood poverty in the U.S. by making the credit expansions permanent