Madison, Wis. — Despite shamelessly changing the 2017 GOP Tax Scam bill to benefit his two biggest campaign donors, Ron Johnson voted against a tax cut for Wisconsin families that is helping slash the hunger rate.
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The percentage of American families with kids who report not having enough to eat fell dramatically after the first child tax credit payments were distributed last month, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The government’s finding shows that the monthly payments are having a major and immediate impact on millions of households, potentially bolstering President Joe Biden’s push to extend the tax credit past the end of this year, when it is set to expire.
The monthly payments of up to $300 for each kid under five and up to $250 for each kid under 18 are the result of one of the most sweeping provisions in the American Rescue Plan, though the policy did not garner much media attention at the time. The payments are set to continue each month through December.
Before the first tranche of tax credit payments hit bank accounts in mid-July, about 11 percent of households with children reported that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the past week. After the money went out, the rate dropped to just over 8 percent — a decrease of nearly 24 percent — and the lowest rate recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.
Households with children saw a major decline, while adults in households with no children saw virtually no change over the same period, with about 6 percent reporting a lack of food sometimes or often.
The most recent survey data shows that nearly half — 47 percent — of households reported spending their tax credit payment on food. About 17 percent of households with one kid under five reported spending the money on childcare.
The survey found the child tax credit payments appeared to make it easier for households to cover all of their expenses. There was a decline in the share of adults in households with kids reporting that it was somewhat difficult or extremely difficult to cover their expenses, from 32 percent to 29 percent, a nearly 8 percent decrease. By comparison, the share of adults in households without kids reporting difficulty went up slightly over the same period.