If the cliche is correct and the children are our future, the federal government’s investment in the future dropped in 2011. Federal spending on children fell last year, the first such decrease since the early 1980s. On top of that, the Urban Institute projects that “In the absence of legislative action … federal outlays on children will fall by 6 percent in 2012 and an additional 2 percent in 2013.”
With total federal spending increasing while outlays and tax expenditures benefiting children fell by $ 5 billion, kids went from being 10.7 percent of the budget to 10.4 percent. Federal education spending alone dropped by $ 5 billion. (Since some programs also grew, education is not the only children’s program to be cut.)
These numbers are playing out and will keep playing out in thousands of ways, from cuts to teachers and school janitors to cuts to nutrition assistance for kids. And the cuts will keep coming as long as Republicans have an ounce of leverage to make it happen.