News Article

When arguing tax reform, keep child poverty in mind

Tax Policy

Dallas Morning News

Re: “Eat Your Tax Reform — Attempt at solution eludes Congress again,” Sept. 8 Editorials.

The News is right in urging Congress not to miss the opportunity provided by federal tax reform. But the debate can’t just be about balance sheets and corporate tax rates — it must also be about children.

Texas kids have a lot at stake. Together, just three federal tax provisions — the dependent exemption, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit — account for the biggest federal investment in America’s children.

By helping parents meet kids’ basic needs, they lift millions of children out of poverty every year. With 39 percent of Dallas kids living in poverty (the national average is 23 percent), we can’t waste the opportunity tax reform provides to strengthen these protections and build even more effective defenses against child poverty.

But that will only happen if Texas’ congressional delegation sends a clear message to both parties that tax reform must be a win for children. With their leadership, we can build a tax code that invests in kids and makes real gains in child poverty.

Bruce Lesley, president, First Focus Campaign for Children, Washington, D.C., @brucelesley