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November 15, 2017

Congress’ Tax Bill Could Have Serious Impacts on Children and Families

I participated in a Webinar on the looming tax bill in Washington in late October that makes me worry about future services for children and families in Wisconsin. While the bill is still under debate in the Congress, the signs look ominous. The webinar, sponsored by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), warned about possible impacts.

  • Benefits to the wealthy: The overwhelming tax benefits are likely to go to the wealthy and corporations, providing little for the poor and middle class.
  • Child Care Tax Credits: While there may be some modest increases in child care tax credits, families are likely to lose other tax benefits, reducing the help of the child care tax credits. See Kids Forward’s Jon Peacock’s analysis on child tax credits House Bill’s Increase in Child Tax Credit Excludes Many Children in Working Families. The analysis indicates, “The Congressional leaders misleadingly argue that their tax cut plan would benefit working families because it increases the maximum value of the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC). However, that part of the House bill completely excludes 159,000 children in Wisconsin whose parents work in low-paying jobs.”
  • Long-term Damage: The proposed tax bill, which cuts taxes at a remarkable rate, is likely to result in a serious national deficit, increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion. The result is likely to lead to serious cuts in services that help working families with children.

NWLC recently released an analysis of the current tax credit recommendations that are seriously being considered in Congress: https://nwlc.org/blog/house-and-senate-tax-bills-are-a-bad-deal-for-women/

This week NWLC’s Helen Blank indicated the current proposals will create a deficit that will be offset by cutting federal spending, likely slashing programs that provide for working families. She wrote, “That means this tax bill will ultimately lead to cuts in programs that are integral to the well-being of children and their families, including Medicaid, SNAP, public education, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant.”

Dave Edie
Early Education Policy Analyst