United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized
countries despite having the largest economy in the world. A child in the
United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the
poorer she is likely to be. A child of color, who will be in the majority of U.S.
children in 2020, is more than twice as likely to be poor as a White child.
This is unacceptable and unnecessary. Growing up poor has lifelong negative
consequences, decreasing the likelihood of graduating from high school and
increasing the likelihood of becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health,
and becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These impacts cost the
nation at least half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and
increased health and crime costs. Letting a fifth of our children grow up poor prevents
them from having equal opportunities to succeed in life and robs the nation of
their future contributions.
can end child poverty by investing more in programs and policies that work. For
the first time, the Children’s Defense Fund 2015 report, Ending Child Poverty Now, shows
that by investing an additional 2 percent of the federal budget into existing
programs and policies that increase employment, make work pay, and ensure
children’s basic needs are met, the nation could reduce child poverty by 60
percent and lift 6.6 million children out of poverty immediately.
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Invest in Programs that Work to Reduce Child Poverty in the U.S.
Dear [Decision Maker],
As your constituent, I urge you to support the policies and programs we know work to reduce our morally obscene level of child poverty in America. One in five children is poor despite our having the largest economy in the world. I ask you to read and share with your colleagues the Children's Defense Fund 2015 report Ending Child Poverty Now (www.endingchildpovertynow.org), that shows how, for the first time, we can reduce child poverty 60 percent and improve the economic circumstances for 97 percent of poor children right now.
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