Child Poverty Increased by 41 Percent After Monthly Tax Credits Expired

New data shows that the end of the popular Child Tax Credit payment program (West Virginia) due to objections by conservative Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (West Virginia), has caused a massive rise in the U.S. childhood poverty rate.

The program allotted payments to families with childrenFamilies receive $300 per month for each child 6 years old and under, and $250 per month for every child 6 and over. The payments started in July and continued through December. A total of 61 million children are affected.

Review of the payments revealed that they had immediate and lasting impacts throughout the program’s six-month run. The program kept around 3 million children out of poverty in the first month. However, due to an increase in monthly family incomes, the number of children out of poverty rose to 3.7million by the end of the last month.

The program also saw remarkable success in terms payments going to necessities that families could not afford before. The U.S. Census Bureau conducted a study and found that 91 per cent of low-income families used the monthly benefit to meet basic needs.

But new research shows the predictable outcome of ending the payment program — that millions of children across the U.S. have slipped back into poverty.

According to a research study from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia UniversityThe U.S. child poverty rates increased by 41% between December, when this program ended, and January of this Year.

The child poverty rate in December was 12 percent. In January, it climbed up to 17 percent — meaning that more than one in every six kids in the country are now living in poverty, versus close to one in eight last month.

The rate shows that 3.7 million children are now living in poverty that weren’t in December — the exact number that previous studies, cited above, showed were lifted out of poverty due to the child tax credit payments.

Many Democrats wanted to make the tax credit payments permanent or at least to extend them beyond December’s expiration date. Manchin ridiculed the way that the payments were being used, and those efforts were thwarted. parroting unverifiable claims that parents were using the payments to buy drugsDespite evidence that the payments were used in an alternative way.

Manchin claimed that he would like payments to be modified to exclude high-income families. However, his proposal was rejected. could have lowered the threshold to families earning under $60,000The living wage for a family with four children is less than the average state’s minimum wage. Manchin also proposed to make payments more affordable by requiring people to work, a standard that has led to negative outcomes for other social safety-net programs.

Critics of Manchin’s proposals said that they would be detrimental to the overall goal of helping children.

“If the point is to lift children out of poverty, then my personal opinion is that we should be designing the credit to do that as effectively as possible, rather than designing it in a way that claims it’s for the purpose of reducing poverty, but ends up being an incentive program for the adults,” said Elena Prager, an associate professor of strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Means testing doesn’t actually save money,” Rep. Andy Levin (D-Michigan) said in October. “It only makes programs harder to administer, forces people to jump through hoops to get needed benefits and continues cycles of poverty.”

The report on child poverty, which was released this week by the Congress Progressives, was cited by Congress as a reason to reinstate child tax credit payments.

“How did this happen?” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on TwitterThis is a reference to the dramatic rise in childhood poverty rates. “50 Republicans and 1 corporate Democrat allowed the $300 a month Child Tax Credit to expire. That is morally obscene.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), also suggested that Manchin was to blame.

“One US Senator ‘heard stories’ about people allegedly using the Child Tax Credit ‘for drugs’ without any evidence or data to back it up,” she said. “He then used that as justification to nuke the entire national program, causing millions of kids to fall into poverty in weeks. Horrifying.”