Letter: Fight against poverty must keep going forward

Published: 12/19/2016 12:01:04 AM
Fight against poverty must keep going forward

Back in September, the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing that almost 1 in 7 Americans is below the poverty line – that’s more than 43 million people. This is clearly a startling figure and one that should give us pause, but within this report there was some good news. Federal anti-poverty programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Earned Income Tax Credit, helped lift millions out of poverty.

The recent election has left many Americans wondering what the next four years is going to look like in regard to a whole host of issues. In the midst of this uncertainty, don’t let your representatives lose sight of the most vulnerable among us.

I hope we can count on Sens. Hassan and Shaheen to reject any efforts to reverse the positive gains made; efforts such as gutting SNAP by turning it into a “block grant” or reducing access to Medicaid. We must focus on moving anti-poverty policy in the right direction by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to include workers not raising children, a group currently being taxed deeper into poverty.

If the well-being of hardworking Americans is truly important to the new Congress, now is the time to let them know. We need to focus on making things better for those who simply want a fair shot at the American dream. It is not the time to move backward by eliminating the programs that make a real difference in the lives of so many.




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