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f u t u r e t r e n d s i n c h i l d r e n expenditures, 2010–20 s

I n the near term, federal children’s expenditures will continue to expand as a result of the lin- gering effects of the recession and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Some of this increased federal spending may be offset by continuing cuts in state and local spending on children, primarily education, depending on how long it takes state budgets to emerge from the grip of the recession and what spending choices they make as they emerge. Over the longer term, ten-year projections show an overall decline in federal children’s expenditures, both as a share of the economy and as a share of the federal budget. As discussed in the methods section, these projections assume a continuation of current policy, do not incorporate the effects of health care reform, and rely heavily on projections of the Congressional Budget Office and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Microsimulation Model. If current law continues unchanged, the federal budget will grow as a whole, but a smaller share of the budget will be targeted to children. More dramatically, the children’s share of more than $1 trillion in additional federal spending expected within a decade will be much, much smaller than their own modest share of current budgets.

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