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INFOGRAPHIC: House Republican Cuts for Kids by the Numbers

Federal budgets are more than numbers on a ledger. They are statements of priorities. And based on the slate of bills recently passed by committees in the House of Representatives, children rank at the bottom of the list.

The House budget for fiscal year 2013 tasks several congressional committees to “reduce lower‐priority spending” to avert military cuts that will otherwise take place in January 2013 due to the debt deal agreed to last summer. Based on these committees’ decisions, it’s safe to assume that children are considered a “lower priority” than the many other places House leadership could have found necessary savings.  

The House Agriculture Committee, for example, could have found savings by reforming subsidies to wealthy farmers. The House Ways and Means Committee could have found its savings from closing tax loopholes for oil companies and hedge fund managers. But both committees decided that services for our most vulnerable children should be first and foremost on the chopping block.

By the numbers, here’s a fast glance at how many children will be affected should these cuts be enacted:

Now that’s a lot of children who would be vulnerable to hunger, abuse, and neglect if the House budget were to be enacted today. Here are the details:

These cuts are not only immoral—they are also bad economic policy. Child poverty alone costs our economy upwards of $500 billion a year in lost productivity, increased health care costs, and expenditures in the criminal justice system. Poor childhood nutrition leads to a host of negative consequences including increased instance of chronic diseases, lower educational achievement, and a less-skilled workforce of the future—all of which will ultimately undermine our economic competitiveness.

In contrast, higher taxes on the wealthy would not harm economic growth.

As the full Congress moves forward with plans to reduce the federal budget deficit in FY 2013, they should reconsider which investments are “lower priority.” Cutting programs that feed, protect, and nurture low-income kids is not the way to cut the deficit.

Melissa Boteach is Director of the Half in Ten project—cutting poverty in half in 10 years—at the Center for American Progress, our parent organization. View the original post here.

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