The most recent newsletter from Bread for the World begins as follows:
"The tax bill passed by Congress at the end of 2017 is expected to make progress toward ending hunger in the United States and around the world much harder to achieve. hunger and poverty are likely to increase as the tax bill takes effect.
In addition, the tax bill's repeal of the individual mandate for health insurance is projected to raise expenses for many low-income individuals.
Opportunities to use the tax code to provide real help to low-income working families with children were largely rejected. The child tax credit did increase by $400 a year but is not fully refundable. Thus the increase will not help many low-income families. For a mother with two children, working full-time at the minimum wage, the child tax credit increase would be only $75.
The tax bill also changed the way inflation rates are calculated. Low-income, elderly, and disabled people will see the spending power of their benefits decline in future years.
The tax cuts will increase the federal deficit by roughly $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Some in Congress are now calling for cuts to safety-net programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), that are a lifeline to people experiencing hunger and poverty.
David Beckmann, Bread for the World's president, described the legislation as a one-two punch. He noted that Congress has announced plans to follow the tax cut with a 'big push to cut more than $2 trillion from the social programs for low- and middle-income people.'"
Because of the tax bill, I expect the ELCA to oppose vigorously any major cuts to programs for the poor.