Families that depend on government assistance face countless threats, but a new study from the Urban Institute shows just how devastating budget cuts could be to America’s poorest families.
According to the report, as of 2009, low-income children received 70 percent of government funding for children — a respectable portion of overall federal spending dedicated to the needs of those under 18. But while the straight numbers look good for poor kids, those children’s future prospects are frightening.
The Urban Institute “estimate[s] that low-income children receive 99 percent of housing expenditures, 98 percent of expenditures on nutrition, 97 percent of health expenditures, and 94 percent of expenditures on social services.” So, of course, cutting the budgets for these areas would disproportionately affect children:
Millions of children have been kept out of extreme poverty by programs like food stamps, and the overall poverty rates would have been twice as high in 2010 without the social safety net. Surely, the opposite effect would occur with any cuts to welfare, social security, medicaid, or the other programs that keep these kids afloat.