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Dear Editor: According to the Economic Policy Institute, the pandemic showed us how government social programs kept tens of millions of people out of poverty in 2021. Because of expansions to programs like unemployment insurance benefits and the child tax credit, poverty rates were lower in 2021 than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This remarkable reduction in poverty rates during one of the most severe economic downturns in decades was achieved through expanded social insurance programs, highlighting how much policymakers’ choices can impact poverty. It also has clear ramifications for our future policy choices. If we would be allowed by obstructionist Republicans, we could pass laws to get kids out of poverty and invest in our future workers who have great ideas and perspectives on how to make the U..S. a great international power again after Trump and his sycophants nearly killed our democracy.

Read Viola Davis' recent book or ask a school or community social worker for a look at real poverty. You can’t raise yourself up by the bootstraps if you don’t have any boots. Most of us don’t know the poor because they are invisible.

Linda Bernhardt


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