Census Data Shows Effectiveness of Pro-Work Tax Credits: Congress Must Act Now

Washington, DC, September 16, 2015 — According to the latest data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, about one in seven Americans (14.8 percent) still lives below the poverty line, but pro-work tax credits helped to move 9.8 million Americans out of poverty in 2014. In addition, the Census Bureau found that SNAP, formerly “Food Stamps,” lifted 4.7 million Americans above the poverty line last year, and 8.8 million fewer Americans are uninsured in 2014 versus 2013. 

RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund Executive Director Joanne Carter released the following statement.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data reveals that 46.7 million people in this country are living at or below the poverty line. That’s about one in seven Americans, and almost one in five children. This is unacceptable. We need to do more to ensure that economic growth is benefitting the most vulnerable.

While these numbers are staggering and remind us of the significant gaps we need to address, the data does offer some hope: pro-work tax credits helped to lift 9.8 million Americans out of poverty in 2014, including 5.2 million children.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) have unique bipartisan support and encourage work by letting people keep what they earn. Recipients use their refunds to pay for basics like food, child care, and transportation to and from work. In turn, businesses in their communities get a boost. Studies even show that children of recipients do better in school and eventually earn more money when they enter the workforce.

Today’s data reminds us that millions of Americans are struggling, and smart public policies can make a difference. Congress should act now to save important provisions of the EITC and CTC that are set to expire in 2017. If they don’t, 50 million Americans, including 25 million children, will lose part or all of their EITC or CTC. About 16 million people will fall into poverty or deeper into poverty, including 8 million children.  

The EITC and CTC demonstrate how transformative effective government policy can be, as we can see in this new Census data. As a result of these pro-work tax credits, men and women who work hard at low-wage jobs are better able to pay for the essentials that they and their families need to survive. Their children benefit. The economy benefits. And in turn, we all benefit. Congress should act now to save key provisions of the EITC and CTC that provide a vital lifeline to millions of working families across the country.

Learn more about the EITC and CTC in this media backgrounder.

About RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund:

RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund are sister organizations that, together, are a leading force in ending poverty in the United States and around the world. We create long-term solutions to poverty by supporting programs that address its root causes — lack of access to health, education, or opportunity to move up the economic ladder. We empower ordinary people to become extraordinary voices for the end of poverty in their communities, the media, and the halls of government. The collective voices of these passionate grassroots activists leverage millions of dollars for programs and improved policies that give low-income people the tools they need to move out of poverty.

Contact:

Colin Smith
csmith@results.org 
+1 202.783.4800 x.139