The Children Are Our Future

Blog Post
Thursday, May 17, 2018

“In only a few years we will be spending more servicing our past debt than we will investing in our future,” Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), said recently.

“We’re spending very little on investing in our children and we’re borrowing, which means that we are burdening our children with substantially more debt,” he said.

During the latest episode of “Facing the Future,” Goldwein discussed an ongoing study by CRFB, “Budgeting for the Next Generation,” that examines how current budget policies impact children now and will impact them in the future.

Goldwein aptly assessed the federal budget as skewed heavily toward older generations and past policies at the expense of younger and future generations.

“Basically, however you cut it, we spend about one out of every ten dollars on children,” Goldwein said. “That’s not very much when you consider that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combine to make up more than half of the budget, and most of their money is going to the elderly.”

Goldwein pointed to the budget process as a key reason few resources go to children. He pointed out that many programs for children are either subject to annual appropriations or require regular re-authorization, and that few of these programs automatically grow in real terms.

By contrast, most spending for older Americans comes in the form of uncapped entitlements with substantial built-in growth and few opportunities for oversight and review.

“Too few (young people) understand the degree by which they are really getting short-changed through the budget,” Goldwein said. “We are burdening our children with a huge debt...and yet we are doing very little to invest in them, to invest in their productivity, in their nutrition, in their growth.”

Josh Gordon, policy director for The Concord Coalition, also appeared on the program to offer his thoughts on the Trump administration’s recently released plan that would ostensibly reduce prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket health care expenses.

I host “Facing the Future” each week on WKXL Concord News Radio (N.H.), which is also available via podcast. Join us as we discuss issues relating to national fiscal policy with budget experts, industry leaders, elected officials and candidates for public office. Past broadcasts are available here. You can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or through RSS.