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introduction

T h i s f o u r t h a n n u a l K i d s S h a r e r e p o r t e x a m i n e s f e d e r a l e x p e n d i t u r e s o n c h i l d r e n i n 2 0 0 9 , a n u n u s u a l y e a r , w h e n t o t a l f e d e r a l s p e n d i n g h i t a p o s t W o r l d W a r I I h i g h o f n e a r l y 2 5 p e r c e n t o f t h e e c o n o m y . M u c h o f t h e i n c r e a s e d s p e n d i n g i n 2 0 0 9 o c c u r r e d i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e r e - c e s s i o n a n d t h e g o v e r n m e n t s e f f o r t s t o s t a b i l i z e t u r b u l e n t fi n a n c i a l a n d h o u s i n g m a r k e t s .

Unemployment averaged 8.5 percent during fiscal year 2009 (October 2008 to September 2009),

leaving millions of Americans out of work. This rise in unemployment has significantly affected

families with children: one-third (31 percent) of the unemployed are parents with children, and the

number of children with a parent seeking work rose to 8.1 million in December 2009, a 67 percent

increase from the level it had been two years earlier. The recession also is leading to increases in

child poverty. An additional 3.4 million children were receiving food stamps (or what are now called

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) in August 2009 than were one year earlier,

a 24 percent increase.1 How did federal spending on children change in response to the increased

needs of children and families?

The rise in unemployment has significantly affected families with children; nearly one-third (31 percent) of the unemployed are parents with children.

AN ANALYSIS OF FEDERAL EXPENDITURES ON CHILDREN

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