Government spends more on seniors than children, report finds

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Is the government devoting too many federal dollars to seniors? That wave of thinking may start hitting home soon. Growth in spending on older U.S. residents is limiting spending on children's programs, according to a study released Thursday by the Urban Institute.

The share of domestic spending and tax breaks for children's programs declined from 1960 to 2007, and it is expected to fall further. Meanwhile, the percentage of the gross domestic product spent on adult programs has been rising. The percentage of the GDP spent on adults receiving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is expected to grow from 7.6% this year to 9.5% in 2017.

Spending from federal, state and local governments on seniors is three times greater than spending on children. At the federal level, spending on adults is eight times greater than spending on children. The disparity can be attributed in part to the political power of seniors, according to a USA Today analysis.