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Three reasons why Trump tax cut plan won’t reduce poverty

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz

Thomas Hirschl, co-developer of the poverty risk calculator, an expert in income insecurity and professor of development sociology at Cornell University, says that President Trump’s proposed tax cuts will not reduce poverty.

Hirschl says: 

“On April 25 President Trump set forth a proposal to cut taxes on corporations, individuals, and families. While the final shape of this proposal is subject to negotiation with Congress, the initial outline fails to address an important concern of millions of voters who elected him:  economic insecurity.

“Donald Trump won the presidency last fall in part by tapping into economic fear and the income insecurity that has been growing in America for years, due largely to the loss of good-paying jobs.

“Even if the proposed tax cuts stimulate growth, it is unlikely that this growth will reduce poverty for three reasons. First, since the 1970s, economic growth has resulted in fewer high paying jobs, not more, and this is especially the case for those who lack a college degree. Second, over the past 10 years, half of total income has gone to the top 10 percent of earners.  It’s not trickling down to those most at-risk of poverty.

“Third, there have been many tax cuts over the past several decades (1986, 1997, 2001-2006), and these have had zero, or very little, effect on the poverty rate."

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