U.S. Spending on Children Drops to New Low
Leighton Interactive | Sep 12, 2019 AT 7:44 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A new report shows the share of federal spending on children was at an all-time low in fiscal year 2019.
The 13th annual Children's Budget Book released this week by the group First Focus on Children shows the share of spending on children - at 7.21% - is down 10% in the past four years.
Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children, says the country needs to fund what's most important - children's future.
"The federal budget is a moral document and it really shows what your priorities are as a nation," he stresses. "And our nation is failing to invest in our kids' future, and failing them."
For the first time ever, the share the nation is spending on things such as education and child abuse prevention is less than what it is spending on interest on the national debt.
The president's 2020 budget calls for even deeper cuts to children's programs and would direct billions of dollars to the border wall.
Lesley notes that the deficit shot up sharply after last year's massive tax cut, which primarily benefited the wealthy and corporations.
Now, he says, that debt is becoming a double-edged sword for the nation's children.
"Interest on the national debt is squeezing the ability for Congress to make investments in kids," he points out. "But second, we're leaving that debt for them to pay off."
Congress is supposed to come to a budget agreement by the Sept. 30 deadline. If lawmakers can't agree, they will need to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government at existing levels.
Last winter, a disagreement over funding for the border wall forced a record 35-day government shutdown.