Children’s Budget 2008

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First Focus

Since 2003, only one penny of every new non-defense dollar spent by the federal government went to programs for youth, according to this guide to more than 180 federal programs that address the health, education, welfare and delinquency of youth. The report finds that only 10 percent of the entire federal non-defense budget is spent on programs for children and youth, and that real discretionary spending on children has declined by more than 6 percent since 2004. During the same time, it says, all other non-defense discretionary spending has increased by more than 8 percent.

The authors recommend that expenditures on children not drop below 10 percent of all nondefense spending, and that federal investments on youth-related programs be increased.

First Focus is a bipartisan initiative of the America’s Promise Alliance that advocates on behalf of children and families in federal policy and budget decisions. Free, 59 pages. (202) 657-0670,