Why We Care About Tax Reform

Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
December 15, 2017
by Geoff Plague

You, like many Americans, might only think about your taxes when the April 15th deadline approaches. However, for millions of American families, federal programs funded by our taxes, and the structure of the federal tax code itself, provide the lifeline they need to afford to put food on the table and pay the rent.

With those families in mind, Feeding America developed tax policy principles that are grounded in our commitment to assisting food insecure individuals and families, and our belief that the best public policy decisions are those that encourage Americans to give generously to charity while ensuring government has the resources necessary to meet our collective obligations to ensure the well-being of our neighbors.

We used these principles to analyze the impact of tax reform legislation currently under consideration on families and our evaluation was based on the extent to which the legislation:

  1. Prioritizes support for those individuals and families most at risk of being food insecure;
  2. Supports short- and long-term funding for federal nutrition assistance programs; and
  3. Preserves tax incentives for charitable contributions and maintains current levels of charitable giving.

Unfortunately, we concluded the legislation would likely provide little direct benefit to food insecure individuals in the United States. At the same time, it would likely undermine efforts to provide both public and private nutrition assistance to those individuals and families who struggle with adequate access to food.

Legislation that provides approximately $5 trillion in tax cuts can surely do better by the individuals who struggle every day to put food on their family’s table.