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By The Numbers

Could future taxpayers (kids) be getting the short stick?

John Ketchum Sep 24, 2013

Despite all the talk about a debt ceiling and budget cuts, a report out this week claims that federal spending over the next ten years is expected to increase by more than $1 trillion. The report from the left-leaning Urban Institute shows that money will not trickle down much to children and children’s programs.

According to the study by the Urban Institute, federal spending on kids dropped by $28 billion in 2012, the largest reduction since the 1980s.  A big reason for the drop in spending is the expiration of the stimulus plan — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(ARRA).  The stimulus put more emphasis on investing federal dollars in children. 

The Urban Institute projects that over the next 10 years, 2 cents of every federal dollar will go towards children.

Julia Isaacs is a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute. 

“We get worried that trends are going in the wrong direction,” says Isaacs.

The Urban Institute projected how children will be impacted by a decline in a share of federal spending.  Here are a few key projections:

  • By 2023, the share of spending on children will drop as a percentage of the budget. From 10 percent to 8 percent. 
  • The percentage of the economy allocated to federal investments in children in 2023 is projected to be lower than it was before the Great Recession. 
  • With the exception of healthcare,  all areas of spending on children are projected to decline.
  • Child related spending on nutrition programs, early education and care, social services, training, and housing are also projected to decline by 25 percent or more over the next decade.
  • Federal education programs are projected to see a decline of 37 percent.

Isaacs says that education programs and the refundable tax credit will see the biggest hit if current projections are correct. 

She notes that spending on health care is expected to increase as Obamacare covers additional uninsured children.

“No politician wants to argue for raising taxes, but how can we in good conscience continue increasing the debt our children — future taxpayers — will inherit?,” says Isaacs on the blog, MetroTrends

For a deeper look into how tax provisions affect children, check out the full report here.  

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