WASHINGTON D.C. – A new study released today reveals once again that the share of federal domestic spending on children is continuing a downward trend, making no improvement since the release of a similar report last year.

The study, entitled Kids’ Share 2008: How Children Fare in the Federal Budget, was produced and published by the Urban Institute and the New America Foundation, with funding from First Focus and Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report is an annual examination of federal spending trends and federal tax polices that support and impact children and families.

While federal expenditures have grown over the past four and a half decades with the rest of the federal budget, the share of domestic spending focused on children has fallen 22% since 1960. Furthermore, Kids Share 2008 estimates that the children’s slice of gross domestic product will decline from 2.6 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 2.2 percent by fiscal year 2018.

“The squeeze between growing entitlements and existing taxes – a squeeze affecting children’s programs and many traditional government functions – is not waiting for some future date; it is taking place now,” says Eugene Steuerle, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute. “By action and inaction, both political parties bear responsibility for choosing this path and for allowing other priorities to take precedence.”

The study further supports the findings of the recent First Focus publication, Children’s Budget 2008, a comprehensive guide to spending on children. The analysis of programs outlined in Children’s Budget 2008 reveals that over the past five years, only one penny of every new, real non-defense dollar spent by the federal government has gone to children’s programs.

“It’s imperative that in this election year, voters hold politicians accountable for increasing investments in children’s programs,” said Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus. “If our nation continues on this downward path, we are not only putting the wellbeing of our children at risk, but the success of America as well. It’s time to invest in our nation’s future and to once again make children a national priority.”

Children’s Budget 2008