Today is Tax Day, the deadline for all Americans to file their federal tax return. Many families will get a much-needed tax refund, and some will see an additional boost from refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. These parts of the tax code promote work and help millions of families make ends meet.
But instead of expanding these programs to support workers without children, or expanding the benefits to more low-income workers, the Republican-led Congress and President Trump gave a huge tax break to the largest corporations and richest Americans. And they did this while giving virtually nothing to our nation’s workers and families.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act came with a price tag of $1.5 trillion. Analysis by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy found that 52% of the benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will go to the richest 5% of Americans in 2019.
Building off that work, our analysis found that 89% of Latinos in the United States will see a tax cut of less than $6 per week, or about $316 over a year. This is a far cry from the tax cut that is going to the richest 1%: a whopping $55,190, or $1,061 a week.
With stagnant wages, rising healthcare costs, and increasing housing expenses, working families need more than $6 per week. They need increased federal investments in infrastructure and health care, they deserve high quality and good-paying jobs, and their children have a right to an equitable education.
Congressional leaders and President Trump not only left working families and children out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Now they aim to make it even harder for families to put food on the table and a roof over their heads by slashing funding for federal benefits that help families make ends meet.
The latest attack on families is the House Republican proposal to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which includes funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP already has work requirements and their proposal would expand them, resulting in two million individuals losing their SNAP benefits altogether or having them scaled back. Nutrition assistance programs, like SNAP, are proven tools to help families out of poverty: in 2015, SNAP lifted 1.3 million Latinos above the poverty line.
Latinos work more than any other racial or ethnic group but still face poverty rates twice those of other Americans. Programs like SNAP, housing assistance and Medicaid help our families get by when wages just aren’t enough. Yet, these programs are all facing threats by Republican leaders.
Our workers, families and children will lose out yet again and see their American Dream pushed further out of reach if these proposals pass. It is clear where the priorities of the current administration and Congress lie: in helping the rich get richer while ignoring the needs of our community and all working families across America.
By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, UnidosUS