This brief charts U.S. federal spending on investment in total and for children from 1965 to 2017. Relative to GDP or domestic spending, total investment and investment in childrenunder almost any definitionfell over the 19652006 period, though with some recent rebounds. More important, projections of current policies show that overall government investment and especially investment in children are threatened to decline in relative and sometimes absolute importance, squeezed out mainly by faster, automatically growing programs that tend to favor consumption. These data raise the question of what relative priority the government should place on investment, and particularly investment in children.
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