On Tuesday, The Children’s Defense Fund released a new report called Ending Child Poverty Now highlighting proposals they say could end child poverty, as defined by the Supplemental Poverty measure. CDF argues that we can make this happen by investing another 2 percent of the federal budget to improve existing programs and policies that increase parental employment, make work pay, and ensure children’s basic needs are met. Poverty for children under 3 and children in single parent households would drop 64 percent and 97 percent of all poor children would experience improvements in their economic circumstances.
CDF contracted with the Urban Institute to generate new numbers on the costs to implement improvements to existing policies and programs and the number of children who would benefit. The report estimates a cost of $77.2 billion a year for the combined proposed policy improvements and suggests multiple tradeoffs our country can make to pay for this huge, long overdue and urgently needed reduction in child poverty without raising the federal deficit including:
- Closing tax loopholes that let U.S. corporations avoid $90 billion annually in federal income taxes by shifting profits to subsidiaries in foreign tax havens; or
- Eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy by taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rate as wages, saving more than $84 billion a year; or
- Scrapping the F-35 fighter jet program already several years behind schedule and 68 percent over budget and still not producing fully functioning planes. For the $1.5 trillion projected costs of this program, the nation could reduce child poverty 60 percent for 19 years, potentially breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Download and read CDF’s new report here.