Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2019 


President Trump asks SCOTUS to block release of his tax returns; use of the death penalty is on the decline across the country; and a push to make nutrition part of the health-care debate.

2020Talks - November 15, 2019 


Former MA Gov. Deval Patrick is officially running for president, saying he can attract more Independents and moderate Republicans than other candidates.

Daily Newscasts

Federal Spending on Children Falls to All-Time Low

There's very little to smile about in a new report that says federal spending on programs for children has dropped by 10% since fiscal year 2015. (Robert Kneschke/Adobe Stock)
There's very little to smile about in a new report that says federal spending on programs for children has dropped by 10% since fiscal year 2015. (Robert Kneschke/Adobe Stock)
September 11, 2019

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The share of federal spending on children was at an all-time low in fiscal year 2019, according to a new report.

The 13th annual Children's Budget Book, released this week, found that the share of government spending on children - at 7.21% - is down 10% in the past four years. Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus on Children, the nonprofit group behind the report, said the country needs to fund what's most important: our kids' future.

"The federal budget is a moral document, and it really shows what your priorities are as a nation," he said, "and our nation is failing to invest in our kids' future, and failing them."

For the first time ever, the share of federal spending on such priorities as education and child-abuse prevention is less than what the United States spends to pay interest on the national debt. The president's 2020 budget calls for even deeper cuts to kids' programs and would direct billions of dollars to the border wall.

Lesley noted that the deficit shot up sharply after last year's massive tax cut, which primarily benefited wealthy individuals and corporations. Now, he said, 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 said, "but second, we're leaving that debt for them to pay off."

Congress is supposed to come to a budget agreement by a Sept. 30 deadline. If members of Congress can't agree, they'll 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.

The report is online at firstfocus.org.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AR