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GOP Tax Bill Will Worsen Poverty to Give Tax Cuts to the Rich

Advocates, Lawmakers Must Protect Key Anti-Poverty Programs

December 20, 2017

Contact: Michelle Nicolet
(P) 312.368.2675

Chicago, IL — Dealing a major blow to our country’s commitment to equal opportunity and justice for all, House and Senate Republicans passed their tax agenda earlier this morning, with President Trump poised to sign it into law. The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law strongly denounces this deeply unjust agenda.

Taxes are about values and priorities. The GOP tax plan prioritizes the rich over everyone else and promises to make our country a much less fair place. Among the bill’s litany of injustices, it:

  • Exacerbates racial and economic inequality by delivering massive giveaways to large corporations and our country’s wealthiest households, while raising taxes on millions of low- and moderate-income families;
  • Repeals the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, stripping health insurance from some 13 million people and causing premiums to soar for millions more;
  • Fails to fully capitalize on the bipartisan support for strengthening the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to help low-income families, instead tilting the credit more heavily towards wealthy households and jeopardizing it for roughly one million immigrant families;
  • Puts pressure on state budgets by partially repealing the state and local tax deduction (SALT);
  • Drives up federal deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next decade and sets the stage for a large-scale assault on key anti-poverty programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and food and housing assistance. Cuts to these programs would cause families to go hungry, send rents skyrocketing, and ultimately drive millions into, or deeper into, poverty.

President Trump and Congressional Republicans have already signaled that “welfare reform”—a racially-coded euphemism used to mask attacks on safety net programs—is among their upcoming priorities. In the months and years to come, the Shriver Center will work tirelessly to ensure that crucial anti-poverty programs are not slashed as a result of this disastrous tax bill.


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients.


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