The most comprehensive examination of trends in federal expenditures on children finds that expenditures grew from 1.9 percent of GDP in 1960 to 2.1 percent in 1997. Although comprising a smaller share of total domestic spending, children's spending increased 246 percent, from $48.6 billion to $168.5 billion (constant dollars). Spending on low-income children, however, increased 23-fold, from $5.1 billion to $117.3 billion. Three new programs account for half of the increase: the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid, and Food Stamps. Spending on children increasingly shifted from broad-based middle class relief to programs aimed more at the poor. The report classifies 66 federal programs into eight major budget categories.
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