- President Joe Biden said a $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan would cut child poverty in half. That would be the largest reduction in recent history, economists said.
- Poverty experts think the claim is reasonable and perhaps even understated.
- The plan targets much of the relief to families with children, including $1,400 stimulus checks and an expanded child tax credit.
President Joe Biden in a speech last week said his $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan would lift 5 million kids from the ranks of the poor and cut the child poverty rate in half.
That would be the biggest child-poverty reduction in recent history, according to some experts who study the social safety net. But its scope isn’t far-fetched and may prove even more substantial if Biden’s plan is fully enacted, they said.
Overall, the plan — which includes additional stimulus checks, tax breaks and enhanced unemployment benefits — may have the greatest impact on Black and Hispanic families.
“This seems reasonable,” Chloe East, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Colorado, said of the analysis. “If all these things Biden proposed passed, we might expect [poverty reduction] to be even larger.”
However, parts of Biden’s agenda would be temporary, potentially diluting those poverty-reduction benefits in the long run. Some conservative economists say the plan, especially aspects like a higher minimum wage and changes to the child tax credit — would actually increase poverty over the long term.