Report Finds Extreme Black Child Poverty on Rise
Childrens Defense fund
Thursday 1 May 2003
Tax Cuts for Rich Will Erode Safety Nets for Children Even Further
WASHINGTON -- The number of Black children living in extreme poverty is at its highest level in 23 years, according to an analysis released today by the Children's Defense Fund. Despite several years of a booming economy, nearly one million Black children in 2001 lived in a family with an annual income of less than half the federal poverty level (disposable income below $7,064 for a family of three). The Bush Administration plans to dismantle Head Start, block grant Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, and slash and freeze crucial services designed to help these poorest children.
Recent studies show overall poverty has declined among Black children, but fail to show the record-breaking increase in extreme poverty among these children. Today's analysis further shows that safety nets for the worst-off families are being eroded by Bush Administration policies, which cause fewer extremely poor children of all races to receive cash and in-kind assistance that could help these families.
Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman said these numbers are clear indicators that, as a country, we must invest in children now instead of passing irresponsible tax breaks for the rich.
"It is shameful that one million Black children are left behind in extreme poverty," said Edelman. "It is hard to be poor. It is harder to be an extremely poor Black child in America when our president who says we should Leave No Child Behind(r) is proposing massive new tax breaks for the richest Americans."
The Bush Administration claims its plan to dismantle, eliminate, cut and freeze essential services for children to pay for massive new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans will spur the economy. The most recent Economic Report of the president, which the president's own Council of Economic Advisers issued in February 2003, explicitly acknowledges that tax cuts are unlikely to pay for themselves -- let alone pay for investments in children and working families.
To View the Report: Click here.
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