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Growing Up Under a Foreboding Budget Cloud: The Forecast for Government Spending on Children

Determining how government spends money and who benefits reveals our priorities. The Urban Institute’s Kids’ Share project seeks to inform a national conversation about how best to invest the country's resources by examining federal and state expenditures on children in the past and projected for the future. 

The sixth annual Kids’ Share report, to be released at this forum, will show that federal spending on children fell in 2011, the first such decline in nearly 30 years. States and localities, which provide two-thirds of all public spending on kids, will be hard-strapped to fill that breach as they deal with the fallout from a weak economy. For the decade ahead, the ongoing imbalance between spending growth in programs that largely exclude children, and revenues falling far short of actual spending levels means a continued squeeze on federal spending for children.

Please join this distinguished panel of experts to discuss what’s behind these spending patterns, what must happen to change the trends, how to distinguish between short- and long-term tradeoffs, and whether childhood investments can be boosted or even maintained given other budgetary pressures.


Dan Crippen, executive director, National Governors Association; former director, Congressional Budget Office and assistant to President Ronald Reagan for domestic policy

Olivia Golden, Institute fellow, Urban Institute; former assistant secretary for children and families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (moderator)

Marc Goldwein, senior policy director, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; former associate director, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and senior budget analyst, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

Julia Isaacs, senior fellow, Urban Institute, and lead researcher, Kids’ Share project

Eugene Steuerle, Institute fellow, Urban Institute; blogger, The Government We Deserve


Speaker Biographies
Crippen slides
Isaacs slides
Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s America: Six Experts Face the Facts

Date & Time Thursday, July 19, 2012

  • Senior Fellow
  • Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair