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US Report: The federal government is spending less on children and more on the elderly

23:17  07 june  2018
23:17  07 june  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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How much does the federal government spend on children , and how does current spending compare with recent years? The federal government spent on the elderly for every spent on children .

The United States government will soon spend more on servicing the national debt than it does on its children unless Congress changes course, the Urban Institute reports . Total federal spending on children was close to half a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014

WASHINGTON – Sorry, kiddos.

The sun lights up the sky behind the U.S. Capitol Building. © Mark Wilson, Getty Images The sun lights up the sky behind the U.S. Capitol Building.

You’re not a high priority for the federal government, a new report concludes.

Government spending on children has been falling since 2010 and now accounts for less than 10% of the federal budget, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

And in just two years, the government will be paying more in interest costs on the national debt than it spends on children, the report said.

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Report . SUMMARY. The United States spends 2.4 times as much on the elderly as on children , measured on a per capita basis, with the ratio rising to 7 to 1 if looking just at the federal budget.

Estimates of this latter group of tax expenditures were not reported in the state study; they were estimated in the federal study but excluded from the Much of the rationale for spending less on children than the elderly is the differential roles that family and government are expected to play in

The data make clear “that policymakers are burdening our children with massive amounts of debt while doing little to invest in their future,” the report concludes. “This unfortunate combination threatens the long-standing practice in this country that each generation leaves a better world for the generation that follows.”

It wasn’t always like this.

Government spending on children jumped significantly in the five decades leading up to 2010.

Spending on children grew from $19 billion (when adjusted for inflation), or 3% of the federal budget in 1960, to $405 billion, or nearly 11% of the budget in 2010, the study said. The report cited data from the Kids’ Share project at the Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank that focuses on social and economic policy.

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& In 10 years (under current policies), spending on the elderly and children combined will account for more than half of total government spending , with the Programs carried out by the federal government focus much more heavily on assisting the elderly population than families with children .

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The increase was largely driven by improvements to the social safety net, including the establishment of Medicaid, the food-stamp program and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as the introduction of Supplemental Security Income, Section 8 low-income housing and the Earned Income Tax Credit. All are major sources of support for children.

For the past eight years, however, federal support for children has been on a downward spiral.

Spending on kids fell from $405 billion in 2010, or 10.7% percent of the budget, to $377 billion in 2016, or 9.8% of the budget.

The report blames several factors for the decline. The peak in children’s spending in 2010 was the result in part of a one-time spike in federal stimulus dollars approved in response to the Great Recession. That spending has since receded. The retirement of the Baby Boom population and the rise of health care costs also mean that a larger share of federal spending is going to the elderly.

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Average government spending on the elderly and children . But overall, governments spend far more than double on seniors than they do on children 18 and younger. Over time, where federal money has been spent .

He doesn’t dispute the dominance of spending on the elderly . “Kids’ Share,” a report issued annually by the Urban Institute Most government spending for children occurs at the state and local levels through public schools. Including this makes the imbalance “ less extreme than federal budget” alone.

Add in tax cuts approved by Congress, and you have a smaller pool of money to spend on needed programs. The result? The elderly are gettingmore of the pie ($1.4 trillion, or 37%), while children are getting less ($377 billion, or 9.8%). In 10 years, the report projects, federal spending on children will fall to just 7%.

So where are federal dollars going? In 2016, they went to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for adults (46%); defense (15%); other non-defense priorities (23%); and interest payments on the national debt (6%).

If current trends continue, the government could end up spending twice as much servicing its debt as it does on children by 2030, the report said.

“Our nation once invested in its future, but now we are struggling to pay for the past,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

It’s a difficult but not unsolvable problem, MacGuineas said.

“Our population is aging, and our leaders in Washington are so far unprepared and in complete denial about it,” she said. “ We need a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that puts the debt on a downward path and fully funds our insolvent entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare.”

More: Tax cuts, spending helping push national debt to historic high, new report says

More: Deficit could hit $1 trillion in 2018, and that's before the full impact of tax cuts

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