How to Cut Child Poverty by 60 Percent Right Now Groundbreaking Report Released by Children's Defense Fund

Jessica Anderson (651) 230-2486
January 28, 2015

St. Paul, Minn. – The Children's Defense Fund released a groundbreaking report today called, Ending Child Poverty Now - For the first time this report details how to substantially reduce child poverty in America. By investing an additional 2 percent of the budget to expand existing federal programs and policies to increase employment, make work pay, and ensure children's basic needs are met, 60 percent of poor children across the country would be lifted out of poverty and 97 percent of all poor children would benefit.

The CDF report lays out real numbers: the costs to implement improvements to existing federal policies and programs, the number of children in America who would benefit and tradeoffs to pay for these improvements without raising the federal deficit. It shows how relatively modest changes to policies we know work at the federal, state and local levels can be combined to significantly reduce child poverty.

All the suggested policy changes including expanding tax credits and increasing housing and child care subsidies could be pursued right now, improving the lives and futures of millions of children and eventually saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year. 

"Poverty hurts children and Minnesota's future. It's a moral disgrace that 
176,719 Minnesota children are poor. What this new report clearly shows is it doesn't have to be this way. We have programs and policies that work, we have the resources to expand them, we need to build the public will to do it now," said Peggy Flanagan, Executive Director of Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota.

CDF targeted changes in nine existing programs and policies and contracted with the non-partisan, independent Urban Institute to analyze the cost and impact of the improvements. The Urban Institute's technical report estimated a cost of $77.2 billion per year for the combined policy improvements.  CDF found multiple tradeoffs the country could make to pay for this significant reduction in child poverty, including: 

Closing tax loopholes that let U.S. corporations avoid $90 billion in federal income taxes each year by shifting profits to subsidiaries in tax havens; or

Eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy by taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rate as wages, saving more than $84 billion a year; or 

Scrapping the F-35 fighter jet program which is several years behind schedule and 68 percent over budget and still not producing fully functioning planes. For the $1.5 trillion projected costs of this program, the nation could reduce child poverty by 60 percent for 19 years, potentially breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Read the full report here: 



The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.