Pages tagged "Federal Budget"
The Recession’s Ongoing Impact on Children, 2012: First Focus Campaign for Children Policy Recommendations
A December 2012 First Focus analysis by Urban Institute researchers Julia Isaacs and Olivia Healey paints an alarming picture of the economic reality facing America's children five years after the recession began. Their paper also notes that federal investments in children have avoided even greater harm. This companion paper offers specific policy recommendations for Congress and the President to strengthen protections for kids.
An analysis of nationwide election eve poll released today by the First Focus Campaign for Children shows overwhelming support from Latino voters for a wide range of federal investments in America’s children at levels higher than voters of all demographics and political affiliations.
By Jon Gould and Bruce Lesley
As Mark Blondin observed, federal budget sequestration has dangerous consequences for Washington [“Fiscal cliff would kneecap our military,” Opinion, Nov. 14]. But only half of sequestration’s impact is on defense. Nondefense cuts will also hit Washington’s economy hard, costing nearly 25,000 jobs.
Why? Because sequestration makes deep cuts to critical investments in Washington children and families. Nearly 77,000 Washington families would lose health services through the Maternal & Child Health Block Grant, more than 16,000 would lose quality nutrition through WIC and more than 18,000 children would lose educational help. Cutting services carries particular harm for children of color, who make up a majority of babies born in this country and are already poorly served. Hard times and austerity budgeting is a double-whammy our children can’t take...
Washington — A nationwide election eve poll released today by the First Focus Campaign for Children shows broad, bipartisan support for a wide range of federal investments in America’s children. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, found that strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents favored key federal initiatives for kids.
“The American people might have voted for divided government, but they’re unified on one thing – they want Congress and the White House to invest in kids,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.
Voters backed a wide range of federal initiatives to improve the well-being of children, including:
- Concrete plans to reduce child poverty — 82 percent of voters (89 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents, and 76 percent of Republicans) want Congress and the White House to deliver a plan to cut child poverty in half within 10 years, while just 13 percent disagreed.
- Protecting family tax credits — 81 percent (90 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of independents, and 74 percent of Republicans) favor protecting elements of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit that will expire this year unless Congress acts, while 12 percent oppose.
- Protecting Children’s Health — 83 percent (93 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents, and 75 percent of Republicans) say extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program is important to them, while 13 percent said this has little or no importance.
- Creating a Children’s Budget — 66 percent (76 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Republicans) want the president to provide an official accounting of federal investments in children, while 22 percent oppose.
- Enacting the DREAM Act — 68 percent (88 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independents, and 50 percent of Republicans) favor legislation offering qualifying students who entered the United States as undocumented immigrant children an opportunity to earn lawful permanent residency and a path to U.S. citizenship, while 26 percent opposed.
- Creating a Bipartisan Children’s Commission — 78 percent (89 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents, and 68 percent of Republicans) support creating a bipartisan “Children’s Commission” to recommend solutions to the problems facing children, while 15 percent oppose.
“If you’re a Republican or a Democrat in Congress, you’re getting a clear signal here – you’re out of touch with voters if you’re not leading the charge on children’s issues,” said Lesley.
The survey was conducted by phone using professional interviewers November 4th through November 6th, 2012. Lake Research Partners reached a total of 1,200 likely, registered voters nationwide. The sample consisted of 1,000 interviews among voters who were reached on landline phones and 200 interviews among voters reached on cell phones. Telephone numbers for the base sample was drawn from a random digit dialing sample and the cell phone sample was drawn from a listed sample. The sample was stratified geographically based on the proportion of likely voters in each region. Data were weighted to reflect the aggregated Presidential vote as reported in the 2012 exit polls, as well as by gender, party identification, marital status, race, and census region. The margin of error at the 95% confidence interval is +/- 2.8 percentage points.
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Washington — The First Focus Campaign for Children reacted today to comments by congressional leadership and President Barack Obama concerning the upcoming federal budget debate.
“Children have a lot at stake in the coming fiscal debate, so we’re encouraged that the White House and congressional leadership are beginning to explore opportunities for progress,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.
An analysis released by First Focus in September showed that investments in children stand to lose $6.4 billion in federal funding in 2013 alone, unless Congress acts. Another First Focus analysis shows that failure to address the tax side of the fiscal equation would also put at risk family tax credits that help meet basic needs like child care, clothes, and school supplies for nearly 30 million children. However, plans passed by the U.S. House of Representatives would replace billions in near-term cuts to children’s initiatives with tens-of-billions in cuts to other children’s initiatives.
“Parents should expect a whole lot more from their leaders in Congress than a fiscal cure that hurts kids more than the disease,” said Lesley.
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Poll: Obama Leads Romney on Children's Issues, Americans Wants Politicians to Address Our 'American Challenge'
By almost a 3-to-1 margin (56 to 20 percent), American voters are deeply concerned that the lives of American children have become worse over the last decade. And, by a 58 to 36 percent margin, voters are not confident that life for our children's generation will be better off. They recognize that American children are no longer the healthiest, the most educated, and best-prepared kids in the world. They feel that what once was the American Dream -- the knowledge that our kids would have opportunities we could never even imagine -- is today the "American Challenge" to make that the reality once again. And that challenge is an American one -- not a partisan one.
In a nationwide Public Opinion Strategies poll on behalf of First Focus Campaign for Children, 82 percent of American adults say that candidates' positions on federal issues regarding children will affect their vote. Furthermore, 63 percent say the presidential candidates are not providing enough attention to children's issues in the campaign.
Unfortunately, this has been an issue throughout much of the campaign season. According to an analysis by the Iowa Children and Family Center for Voices for America's Children of the Republican presidential primary debates, only 2 percent of all the questions addressed issues with respect to issues of children and child well-being. Although political leaders are apt to talk about their children and grandchildren as reasons for their running for political office, they are failing to address the policy needs of all our nation's children. As the report notes:
These statements all indicate that candidates recognize the critical importance of framing their campaigns in the context of children and, by extension, their personal responsibility for ensuring their own children grow up healthy, safe, secure, and with an educational foundation that gives them the opportunity for success. Unfortunately, the remaining parts of the debate shed very little light on how they propose to do that for all children in the United States or what they see as the federal role in ensuring an equal opportunity for all children.
And yet, in a recent Center for the Next Generation and Parents Magazine poll, an almost unanimous 97 percent of parents believe the next president needs to make children and family issues a priority in his administration. And, in the First Focus Campaign for Children poll, 85 percent of parents and even 80 percent of non-parents say a candidate's position on issues affecting children will impact their vote.
Obama Leading Romney 42 to 32 Percent on Children's Issues with One-Quarter Still Undecided
From what they have heard thus far, 42 percent of voters believe that Barack Obama would better handle the problems children are facing in America, compared to 32 percent for Mitt Romney. Romney's biggest problem on the issue is with younger voters between the ages of 18 and 34 who believe Obama is better able to handle the problems children are facing by 51 to 18 percent.
Parents are almost evenly split, as Obama holds a slight 39 to 37 percent lead among them, but gender plays an important role. Moms favor Obama on children's issues by 42 to 33 percent, while dads favor Romney by 37 to 32 percent. A solid one-quarter of voters remain undecided between the two candidates, including 28 percent of parents.
Meanwhile, although Obama is currently favored on children's issues among Hispanic voters by 30 points (43 to 13 percent), another 43 percent of Hispanics remain undecided.
Voters Express Strong Support for Making Children a Bigger Priority in the Federal Budget
Fortunately, the debate around children's issues did pick up somewhat at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, as we have heard some increased references and debate on issues of importance to children, including Medicaid, pre-existing conditions in health reform, class size and school choice issues, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the DREAM Act, and the federal budget deficit.
And, although there are those people, like author Windsor Mann, who think we should ignore children and their needs, that is, fortunately, a position which the vast majority of Americans oppose.
Instead, voters believe our nation must rise to confront the dual threat to children -- the looming federal budget deficit (62 percent say they are very concerned about it) and the need for investments to enhance outcomes and expand opportunities for our nation's children. Although some would argue those are mutually exclusive, Americans disagree. In fact, when presented with a number of options for reducing the national deficit, voters make children a clear priority in comparison to other options in the budget and firmly reject cutting funding for children. This is the American Challenge at this point in our history.
Thus, the majority of America voters disapprove of Congress making budget cuts to an array of children's programs, including: education (75 percent), the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP-74 percent), Medicaid (73 percent), child abuse and neglect (66 percent), the CTC and EITC (63 percent), student loans and financial aid for college students (59 percent), Head Start (59 percent), and child care (54 percent).
To voters, it is a matter of making children a much greater priority in federal policymaking and budgeting. On average, voters believe that the federal government should allocate 28 percent of the budget on children -- a far greater share of spending than the 8 percent that children currently receive. When told that children receive just 8 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government, voters say, by 60 to 13 percent, hearing that makes them more likely to support increasing the amount of money the federal government spends on children.
To the American public, the reason our kids have lost ground isn't a great mystery. They recognize we aren't investing in them. They recognize that when we help children grow and succeed, we are paving the way for our country's next generation of workers and leaders to compete in a global economy. As a result, voters recognize our nation must invest in a world-class education and must invest in those children who are most vulnerable and needy, so that every child can meet the new American Challenge and live the American Dream.
Support for Children Runs Across Gender, Racial, Ethnic, Generational, and Partisan Lines
Whether male or female, Democrat, Independent, or Republican, white, Hispanic or black, young adult, middle aged, or senior citizen, or liberal, moderate, conservative, or Tea Party supporter, all groups support protecting children in our nation's federal budget deficit debate, even if their top issue may vary somewhat.
Thus, while 91 percent of voters express concern about the federal budget deficit, they reject having federal budget cuts fall on our nation's children. In fact, they see the dual goals of tackling the budget deficit while protecting children in that process as being critical for the next generation.
For example, the highest percentage of male voters in this country rejected cutting either education or Medicare (75 percent) while the vast majority of women rejected cutting Medicaid (81 percent).
Among women ages 18 to 34, they overwhelmingly reject cutting funding for CHIP (89 percent), Medicaid (86 percent), student loans and financial aid (78 percent), education (77 percent), child abuse and neglect (75 percent), the CTC and EITC (71 percent), and Head Start (69 percent) -- all of which fared better among this group of voters than issues that many politicians pay far more attention to, such as Medicare (68 percent), Social Security (64 percent), and defense (55 percent), which also polled well.
Although young women tend to be more liberal, the fact is that opposition to cutting children's programs is also strong even among older, more conservative Tea Party supporters. For example, a majority of voters that are favorable to the Tea Party are also opposed to cutting funding for child abuse and neglect (64 percent), Medicaid (62 percent), education (58 percent), tax credits for working families (56 percent) and CHIP (50 percent). Although their list of top priorities may be different, the results for children are similar. Both liberals and conservatives believe that children should be protected from the federal budget chopping block.
As an example of another group of voters who strongly support protecting the investments we are making in children, Hispanic voters overwhelmingly oppose cutting education (93 percent), CHIP (79 percent), student loans and financial aid (79 percent), Medicaid (70 percent), child abuse and neglect (70 percent), the CTC and EITC (66 percent), and Head Start (58 percent).
For all Americans, the support for children remains strong even when asked to make really tough budget decisions. For example, voters oppose cutting Medicare, Social Security, or defense and national security by strong margins (78 percent, 77 percent, and 60 percent, respectively). Thus, the poll purposely put children's issues to the test by asking, for example, if the needs of children, the elderly, or the military should be a greater focus in the federal budget. Even when faced with such difficult trade-offs, such as these, kids fared well among voters.
For example, when asking if children or the elderly should be a greater priority, by a 14 percent margin, voters said than believe policymakers should focus more on the needs of children than the elderly (34 to 20 percent). This is true even among the elderly, who said that children should be a greater focus by 28 to 17 percent. And among Hispanic voters, children are the priority by 59 to 13 percent.
And, by a 14-point margin, voters believe that children should be a greater focus than the military in federal budget decisions (42-28 percent). This holds across all age groups, including 50 to 25 percent among voters 18 to 34 and by 34 to 26 percent among voters over the age of 65. Although 75 percent of Hispanic voters disapprove of cutting defense spending to reduce the federal budget deficit, Hispanics support children even more. In fact, when asking to make a choice between the needs of children or the military in the federal budget, Hispanics favor children by a margin of 53 points (66 to 13 percent).
Voters recognize there are trade-offs and will make children the priority time and time again. For example, while 75 percent of American adults reject cutting education funding, 77 percent support cutting spending on subsidies for oil companies and other big corporations in order to focus more on children's issues. While 74 percent of Americans oppose cutting CHIP, that same percentage of voters would find it accepted to raise taxes on people who make more than $500,000 a year in order to focus more on children's issues. While 66 percent of American reject cutting funding to prevent child abuse and neglect, 77 percent would find it acceptable to close corporate tax loopholes in order to focus more on children's issues. And, while 63 percent of voters oppose cutting tax credits for working families with children, like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, that same percentage would be inclined to raise taxes on corporate stock sales in order to focus more on children's issues.
To Americans, the federal budget is all about making choices and they are sending a clear message that they believe children are worse off than a decade ago, that the future of the next generation is at risk, and that we must rise to face this new American Challenge by making children a greater priority at this critical moment in time -- and in this election.
Are the politicians and their political consultants listening?
When it comes to public policy issues of importance to our nation's children, female policymakers and women are more often supportive and active on children's issues than men, even as we all continue to work hard to enlighten more men so that children's needs will become a "national priority" that leaders of both genders and both political parties will more readily champion.
That fact stood out when the First Focus Campaign for Children released its Champions and Defenders for Children awards for the 112th Congress this week. Since children cannot vote and do not have Political Action Committees (PACs) to funnel money to the candidates of their choice, these awards recognize those Members of Congress that vote, sponsor legislation, and speak out in support of children -- sometimes in the face of their political party's leadership.
Yet again, women disproportionately are the leading advocates for children. In the Senate, 47 percent of the women and 27 percent of the men qualify as Champions or Defenders of Children. The disparity is even greater in the House of Representatives where 38 percent of the women and only 11 percent of the men will receive such recognition. In total, women legislators are almost three times more likely to be a Champion or Defender for Children than men (40-14 percent).
The gender gap for children's issues is also strong among voters, according to a recent poll by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of First Focus Campaign for Children. As an example, moms oppose cutting the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the federal budget by an overwhelming 82-13 percent (by more than six to one). Although dads also strongly oppose cutting CHIP (67-23 percent), the margin is 25 points greater among women.
This gap is most apparent when it comes to issues relating to Head Start and child care. By 66-34 percent, moms oppose cutting Head Start. In addition, they oppose cutting federal funding to make child care more affordable to working parents by 61-36 percent. Meanwhile, dads are evenly divided or even slightly supportive of cutting Head Start (48-51 percent) and child care (48-50 percent) to reduce the federal budget deficit. In other words, support for Head Start is 35 points higher and support for child care is 27 points greater among women than men.
The road we must still travel to get more men to better understand the importance of investing in early childhood education and the struggles that many families face in caring for their children while working is exemplified by last year's debate on Head Start among the male-dominated county commissioners in Frederick County, Maryland. They voted to slash Head Start funding by more than 50 percent, and two male commissioners justified their vote by arguing that mothers should "stay married and stay home with their children."
As a result of slashing all the county-level Head Start funding, low-income children in Frederick County families -- like many localities around the country -- now only receive Head Start services to children and low-income families with federal funding. However, now that, along with funding for children's health, education, child welfare, child nutrition, and the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit for working families, is being threatened by efforts to reduce the expand tax cuts to wealthy Americans or corporations or to cut the federal budget deficit.
These types of trends are of deep concern to most women. As a result, by a three-to-one margin (58-19 percent), women believe the lives of American children have got worse rather than better over the last 10 years. And, 57 percent of women are not confident that life for our children's generation will be better off. They recognize that American children are no longer the healthiest, the most educated, and best-prepared kids in the world. They feel that what once was the American Dream -- the knowledge that our kids would have opportunities we could never even imagine -- is today the "American Challenge" to make that the reality once again.
Therefore, although 62 percent of women are very concerned about the federal budget deficit, they believe we should make children a greater priority in the federal budget process. As an example, even when confronted with a tough choice of prioritizing the needs of children or the needs of the military, moms choose children by 43-21 percent. For young women ages 18-34, the choice is not even close as the needs of children are the priority by more than a 3-to-1 margin (54-16 percent). In contrast, Dads choose the needs of the military over children by 44-36 percent.
Fortunately for kids, since they cannot vote on their own behalf, many women are closely following what the candidates say about children in this election. In fact, 82 percent of women (and 85 percent of moms) say a candidate's position on federal budget issues affecting children will impact their decision on whether to vote for that candidate or not. From what they have heard thus far, women currently give President Obama an edge over Governor Romney (43-32 percent) as to which candidate would better handle the issues of importance to children. However, it is important to note that 25 percent of women remain undecided on the issue and 61 percent believe that both candidates have not given children's issues enough attention.
In addition to monitoring the issues of importance to children and families, those of us concerned about children should continue to push the candidates to give us more detail about what their plans are for ensuring the next generation of children is not left worse off.
Children cannot be left invisible in this campaign, as the stakes for their future and that of our nation are simply too high.
Although children represent one-quarter of our nation's population, there were only a few mentions of children at the first presidential debate. One way to change that is to ask the debate moderators to actually ask questions about the problems facing real families with children in this country. Here is how (and men, that means you too):
Vice presidential debate:
Thursday, October 11, Centre College, Danville, KY
Moderator: Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News
Second presidential debate (town meeting format):
Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Moderator: Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN and Anchor, CNN's State of the Union
Third presidential debate:
Monday, October22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
Moderator: Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation
Washington – Today, the First Focus Campaign for Children, a national, bipartisan children’s advocacy group, recognized 100 Members of Congress for leadership on issues important to children during the 112th Congress (2011-2012).
“Lots of politicians talk about kids’ issues, but few back it up,” said Bruce Lesley, president of the Campaign for Children. “Champions and Defenders delivered for kids.”
The advocacy organization recognized as “Champions for Children” 50 Members of Congress whose extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the future of America’s next generation. An additional 50 Members were recognized as “Defenders of Children” for their support of policies that advance the well-being of children.
In selecting Champions and Defenders, the First Focus Campaign for Children noted leaders who introduced, co-sponsored, and voted for legislation to meet children’s needs. In addition, the organization considered Members who demonstrated extraordinary initiative by spearheading activities such as sponsoring hearings or garnering the support of their colleagues to improve the health and well-being of children. The 2012 Champions and Defenders are:
2012 Champions for Children
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Sen. Snowe, Olympia (R-ME)
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)
Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Rep. Polis, Jared (D-CO)
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Jan (D-IL)
Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
2012 Defenders of Children
Defenders of Children supported efforts to advance policies to improve the well-being of America's children.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)
Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA)
Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH)
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI)
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO)
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
Rep. Crowley, Joseph (D-NY)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
Rep. John Larson (D-CT)
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
Washington – De acuerdo con una nueva encuesta, tres cuartas partes de los latinos que pueden votar en las próximas elecciones generales dicen que los candidatos presidenciales deberían concentrarse más en cuestiones de la infancia. La encuesta también mostró que el 75 por ciento de los votantes latinos considerará la posición de los candidatos sobre asuntos presupuestarios federales que afectan a los niños al emitir su voto en noviembre.
“Los votantes latinos envían al presidente Obama y al gobernador Romney dos señales claras, una: que se centren más en los niños, y dos: su posición en temas de la infancia será importante en noviembre”, dijo el presidente de First Focus Campaign for Children, Bruce Lesley.
La encuesta fue encargada por First Focus Campaign for Children de enfoque bipartidista y completado por Public Opinion Strategies (POS), una firma de investigación de opinión reconocida a nivel nacional que trabaja en campañas Republicanas y asuntos corporativos y públicos. La lista de clientes POS contiene seis gobernadores, 19 senadores y más de 60 miembros de la Cámara de Representantes de los EE.UU. POS es también el medio republicano del equipo bipartidista que realiza la encuesta mensual para la NBC y el Wall Street Journal.
POS encuestó por teléfono a 800 posibles votantes registrados (655 por teléfonos fijos y 145 por celulares), entre el 10 y el 13 de septiembre de 2012. De los encuestados, un 8 por ciento se identifica como latino o hispanoamericano. La encuesta tiene un margen de error de ± 3.46 por ciento. El margen de error es mayor en la subsección de los encuestados latinos.
A continuación, otros puntos destacados de la encuesta:
- Los votantes latinos creen que el presidente Obama es mejor en temas sobre la niñez. 43 por ciento cree que el presidente Obama, de ser elegido, manejaría mejor los problemas que enfrentan los niños en Estados Unidos. 13 por ciento cree que el gobernador Romney sería mejor. Un gran porcentaje de los votantes latinos permanecen en espera con respecto a las cuestiones de la infancia, ya que casi la mitad está indecisa entre los dos.
- Los votantes latinos, de manera constante, otorgan alta prioridad a los niños. Creen que los niños deben ser, para el gobierno federal, una prioridad mayor que los ancianos, por un margen de 59-13 por ciento. Y creen que los niños deben ser una prioridad mayor que los militares, por un margen de 66-13 por ciento. Estos márgenes son mucho más altos que en el total de los votantes.
- Los votantes latinos impulsan las inversiones federales en la niñez a una tasa más alta que el conjunto de todos los posibles votantes. Ellos apoyan por un margen de 70-25 por ciento aumento de las inversiones en los niños de Estados Unidos después de enterarse de que el gobierno federal solo gasta $374 mil millones en los niños, en comparación con el 58 por ciento de todos los votantes.
- Los votantes latinos creen que las vidas de los niños han empeorado en los últimos 10 años por un margen de 54-19 por ciento.
- Los votantes latinos no confían en que la generación de nuestros hijos será mejor por un margen de 58-35 por ciento.
- Los votantes latinos se oponen al recorte en las actuales inversiones federales relativas a la infancia. Se oponen por un margen de 93-7 por ciento a cualquier recorte en educación para ayudar a equilibrar el presupuesto, en comparación con el 75 por ciento de todos los votantes. A recortes similares a los del Programa de Seguro Médico para Niños o CHIP, se oponen por un margen de 79-9 por ciento. A los recortes en la ayuda financiera y los préstamos estudiantiles, se oponen por un margen de 79-21 por ciento.
“Los políticos podrán estar divididos, pero los votantes latinos están de acuerdo en una prioridad simple: no recortes a la infancia”, dijo Lesley.
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First Focus Campaign for Children es una organización 501(c)(4), sin fines de lucro afiliada con First Focus, una organización bipartidista que promueve la defensa de los niños. Campaign for Children aboga directamente por el cambio legislativo en el Congreso para asegurar que los niños y las familias sean una prioridad en la política federal y las decisiones presupuestarias. Para obtener más información, visite www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.
In a recent First Focus Campaign for Children poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, likely voters were asked about their views on children’s issues and how well they felt policies regarding children were being handled today. The results revealed an overwhelming concern for our nation’s youth. The results also highlighted that many adults are not optimistic about many of the challenges facing our youth. The majority of those surveyed (56 percent) indicated that they believed the lives of American children have gotten worse over the last ten years and that they (59 percent) were not confident that life for our children’s generation would be better than it has been for us.
These startling statistics unveil a deep fear that our youth will be worse off in the future. With the pending election we expect candidates to address this national issue, but so far this does not seem to be the case. Only a small fraction (12 percent) of likely voters said that they’ve seen, read, or heard a lot from our Presidential candidates on children’s issues. Although voters did express more confidence in Barack Obama than in Mitt Romney (42 percent over 32 percent) in handling the problems facing children in America, Romney holds a slight lead among some voting populations (women over 55, some middle-aged me, and some middle income voters.) Voters communicated that they believed the needs children should receive more priority than both the needs of elderly and needs of the military, showing the high priority they place on our youth. In the upcoming election, addressing children’s problems may prove important in winning support.
One of the key problems affecting our country is the budget crisis. Congressional offices, political parties, and Americans as a whole are worried about the debt crisis and growing deficits. This fear has stimulated Congress to devise ways to cut back on funding, including funding for programs dedicated to helping kids. While it is admirable for Congress to try to amend their fiscal budget, they may be hurting children in the process. Cuts to programs such as CHIP and Medicaid take away health insurance from children who would otherwise lack health coverage. A large number of voters (74 percent) opposed these cuts to our children’s health. There are a number of ways voters indicated as acceptable ways of maintaining the budget (cuts to other government programs, cutting subsidies to oil companies and other big corporations, etc.), but cutting benefits to children was not one of them. In fact, most voters (58 percent) showed support for increasing governmental investments that affect children. If government officials want to please voters, they are going to have to take this into account.
A growing Latino population in the United States may help catalyze politicians to action for kids. Latino voters consistently come out in strong support of children’s issues. Opposing cuts to the existing federal programs for kids is highly supported by Latino voters: 93 percent oppose spending cuts to education, 79 percent oppose cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and 79 percent opposed cuts to loans and financial aid for students. Three-fourths of Latinos likely to vote in November said they would take into account the Presidential candidates’ decisions regarding children in the budget when deciding who to vote for. Children of Hispanic origin make up 23 percent of our nation’s children, and that percentage is on the rise. If the candidates want to win over more votes, they are going to have to take these concerns for children’s issues into account, since about half of Latino voters are undecided on who they plan to cast their ballot for.
In addition to the Latino population’s concern for children, an overwhelming 82 percent of voters indicated that they would take the candidates’ positions on children’s issues into account when voting in the upcoming general election. The United States obviously cares about kids, and in order to win spots in November’s election, politicians will have to show that they do to.