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 door-to-door-vaccination-drive edition. As of Thursday, 605,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. The CDC estimates that the more dangerous Delta variant now makes up a majority of new cases in the U.S. 67.1 percent of adults have at least one vaccine dose; 58.3 percent are fully vaccinated. The U.S. has been averaging fewer than 15,000 new cases a day for nearly a month. In recent days, however, the average number of new cases has started to trend slightly upward, driven largely by localized outbreaks in places with low vaccination rates, including parts of Missouri, Arkansas, and Nevada.
“It is the unvaccinated people who are dying,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, told TV station WLBT. “The unvaccinated people who are going to the hospital. The unvaccinated people who are getting diagnosed, for the most part.”
President Biden has urged renewed efforts to encourage Americans to get their shots, including door-to-door drives in neighborhoods with high numbers of unvaccinated people. We’re all in this together – we can’t conquer COVID-19 and starve new variants of their human hosts unless enough of us get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, hunger and unemployment remain much too high in the U.S., fueled by inequality and structural racism. And there is important legislation to pass. Congress is bearing down on at least three key pieces – a reconciliation bill, which will include portions of President Biden’s American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan; a bipartisan infrastructure bill; and the President’s budget.
We have a lot of work to do and a busy summer ahead of us.
Please tell your Senators and Representative to act.
The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has started to rise again (up 39 percent over the past 2 weeks). But at just over 16,000 on July 8,it’s a far cry from the worst days of the pandemic last winter, when new cases sometimes exceeded 250,000 a day. Tweet this.
Less than 2 in 5
Fewer than 40 percent of adults in Nevada, where COVID-19 cases are spiking, have received a vaccination. In southern Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, about 95 percent of those who have been hospitalized have not been vaccinated. Tweet this.
Only 54 percent of adults living in rural areas have received at least one vaccine shot, according to the most recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, compared with 72 percent of adults living in urban areas. Kaiser also found that vaccination rates were below average for Americans under 50; Blacks; Republicans; and those without a college degree. Tweet this.
Less than 3;
18 or more
In many urban and suburban communities, COVID-19 cases continue to plummet. The rate of new cases has fallen below three per 100,000 in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. But in Arkansas and Missouri, the rate is 20 and 18 per 100,000, respectively. And those states are followed by Louisiana and Nevada (each at 14), as of July 8. Tweet this.
6 and 19;
34 and 1
University of Albany researchers, in conjunction with the NY Department of Health, conducted antibody testing on more than 15,000 people at grocery stores in 26 counties last April. The test results were startling: Black and Latinx residents had COVID-19 antibody rates exceeding their share of the population by a respective 6 and 19 percentage points, while rates among whites and Asians fell short of their populations by a respective 34 and 1 percentage points. The study found structural racism is to blame for the toll COVID-19 has taken on New York’s communities of color. Tweet this.
Among Latinx respondentsto the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey, 21.4 chose to take the survey in Spanish. Those who did so said that they did not always have enough to eat in the previous week at two times the level reported by Latinx respondents who took the survey in English. This finding, and others, suggests more economic hardship borne by Spanish-speaking Latinx.
The percentof adults living in households with children who were not caught up on their rent or mortgage. Of those not caught up, 38 percent sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week.
Overall, about 10.1 million adults in households with children sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week.
About one-third of adults in households with children said they were currently unemployed. Among these, 18 percent said they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week. Close to one in five Latinx and Blacks living in households with children reported some lack of food – more than double the proportion of whites (8.5%).
The numberof adults with children who reported difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the past week (35%).