U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is not telling the truth about the impact of Child Tax Credits on poverty among children.
Over the next few weeks, Congress has the opportunity to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit that cut childhood poverty almost in half. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s time we prioritize America’s kids over big corporations.https://t.co/z1yywU4faS
— Michael Bennet (@SenatorBennet) November 29, 2022
Bennet is playing a shell game with words. Child poverty was not cut in half.
During that time period of COVID relief, Bennet’s plan gave temporary annual payouts of $3,000 to $3,600 per kid to families making upwards of $150,000.
When Bennet claims child poverty declined by 46%, he’s not referring to the “official poverty measure,” but something called the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM).
SPM is a new form of data measurement that show how much people spend on basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter and utilities, and are adjusted for geographic differences in the cost of housing. “The SPM thresholds are not intended to assess eligibility for government assistance,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Those supplemental measurements did decline from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
But, and this is a big but, the U.S. Census Bureau goes on to explain:
In contrast, when calculated by the official poverty measure, child poverty declined only 0.7 percentage points, from 16.0% to 15.3%.
Bennet’s insinuations that cash payouts to families making upwards of $150,000 cut child poverty in half are ridiculous and false.
Senators on both sides of the political aisle opposed Bennet’s efforts to make these temporary, COVID assistance payouts permanent because of the enormous impact on the debt, inflation, and reduction in the work force.
We encourage the U.S. Senate to hold the line and not give in during the lame duck session to Bennet’s child poverty scam.