Interest Overtakes Kids' Spending

Interest on the debt is the fastest growing item in the federal budget, and in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 the federal government will spend more on net interest than it does on spending that supports children.

We estimate that spending on children in FY 2023 will total about $555 billion – around $100 billion less than the Congressional Budget Office estimates we'll spend on net interest. This will mark the first time net interest spending has overtaken kids' spending in recent history, and we estimate that it will continue to do so indefinitely. 

Our estimates combine some of the estimates used by the Urban Institute's Kids' Share report as well as our own methodologies in determining how much federal programs spend on supporting children. Major areas of federal spending for children include Medicaid, the refundable portion of the child tax credit, nutrition programs, and K-12 education, among many others.