Demand Congress prioritize families over wealthy businesses
When it comes to tax breaks, Congress loves handing them to wealthy corporations. But working people and families? It’s like pulling teeth.
Take for example the research and development (R&D) tax break. This has been in place for almost 70 years and has bipartisan support. But, after expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in 2021, lifting millions of children out of poverty, the Senate failed to renew this critical program in 2022.
Now, businesses are pushing for a continuation of the R&D tax break that has allowed them to deduct expenses immediately to help with cash flow. But what about the cash flow of struggling families?
Last year’s monthly checks of between $250 and $300 per child each month, assisted 36 million families across the country. Families living paycheck to paycheck who received those monthly payments reported being less likely to have to sell their plasma or go to debt-trap Payday Lenders to cover basic expenses.
Now that those monthly CTC payments have stopped, and with the price of food rising, 2 million more people with children have reported sometimes or often not having enough to eat, compared to last summer, when the CTC payments were being delivered.
Just one month after the monthly CTC payments stopped, 3.7 million children were plunged back into poverty. And adding to a really urgent cash flow problem, rising prices are forcing the average household to spend an extra $327 each month due to inflation.
The infrastructure is more than roads and bridges edition. Infrastructure can be physical – roads, bridges, housing, broadband, and safe water, for example. But we also must invest in human infrastructure – care work and job training are prime examples. As the U.S. begins what experts fear could be a long and arduous trek to economic recovery, we have important choices to make. Will we go small, essentially applying a band-aid or two to an economy ravaged by pandemic and recession? Or will we make the sound and robust investments we need to rebuild in a way that would promote opportunity and racial and gender equality and make the post-World War II generations proud? The choice is ours. The path we choose will say much about who we are and our aspirations as a potentially great nation.
Meanwhile, there is good news to share but troubling news as well. The good news? The CDC reports that 24 percent of all Americans are now fully vaccinated, and 38 percent have received at least one shot. The concerning news? Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell warned that re-opening the economy too quickly could fuel another rise in COVID-19 cases, arguing that the country has not completely turned the corner and the pandemic still poses great risks to economic recovery. And Anthony Fauci, pressed in a hearing on when restrictions should be lifted, said that should be when new cases are down below 10,000 per day. On April 15, there were over 74,000 new cases, and the 7-day average for new cases was up 8 percent over two weeks before.
The shocking increasein drug overdose deaths during a one-year period that included the first six months of the pandemic, according to new White House data released this month. Between August 2019 and August 2020, 88,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Tweet this.
More than 3X
Black women are more than three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as white men, a new study finds. Through the pandemic, experts have assumed that men are more likely to die from COVID-19 than women. While this might be true overall, such an outcome does not transcend all racial boundaries. Tweet this.
The nation’s prisons, jails, and detention centers have been among the most dangerous places when it comes to contracting COVID-19 and dying from it, the New York Timesreports. Over the past year, 1,400 new infections and seven deaths were reported, on average, per day in these facilities. Tweet this.
The Tax Policy Center estimatesthat households making less than $25,000 annually will see an after-tax income gain of 20 percent due to the American Rescue Plan – and about 35 percent if they have children. Tweet this.
The numberof adults living with children who said their households sometimes/often didn’t have enough to eat during the previous week, or 11.2 percent. That number was higher for Latinx and Black households with children – about 19 percent, or nearly one in five. It was about 7 percent for white households with children and 5 percent for Asian households with children. Tweet this.
The numberof renters with children who said they were behind in their rent – about 20 percent of renters with children. (For renters in households without children, it was 10 percent.)
The percentof Americans who say they have postponed at least one major life event because of the pandemic. That includes buying or leasing a car, buying a home, getting married, having a child, or taking another significant step. The rate was 59 percent among Americans aged 18-34, 40 percent among those aged 34-55, and 23 percent among those 55 and older.
The percentof bankruptcies caused by medical bills. Nationally, about a third of Black adults have past-due medical debt, compared to just under a quarter of white adults. In California, 31 percent of people of color have some type of past-due debt in collections, compared to only 19 percent of whites.
The percentof world-wide vaccinations administered in high-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.
The number of excess vaccine doses the U.S. is expected to have at the end of July, according to a new report released this week.