Study shows children in red/religious/low tax states are in danger
Here's a press release I received today. Note, of course, that these low tax states are red, extremely religiously controlled states, as well. The books is FREE for download, I believe.
DATA: “HIDDEN PRICE TAGS” OF LOWER TAXES ARE REDUCED U.S. CHILD HEALTH, LIFE PROSPECTS
Stark Differences Seen in Health, Lives of Children in 10 Lowest-Tax States (MT, ID, LA, OK, ND, MS, SD, TN, AL, AK) and 10 Higher-Tax States (CT, NY, NJ, MA, WY, ME, RI, WA, CA and WI); Taxes Not a “Four-Letter Word” When It Comes to the Health of Children.
WASHINGTON, D.C.///February 21, 2007///Low taxes are dangerous to the health of millions of American children, according to the findings of a major new book, “Homeland Insecurity… American Children at Risk,” which is available free on the Web at http://www.everychildmatters.org/homelandinsecurity/index.html. Children in low-tax states are considerably more likely to suffer from poor prenatal care, early death, child abuse and teen incarceration than are children in higher-tax states that invest in child and family programs. The book notes that proposed federal cuts in key programs serving children and families would only make this stark disparity between states even worse.
The data in “Homeland Insecurity” show that:
* Kids do better in states that use tax revenues to invest in child and family programs. Nine of the top 10 higher tax states rank in the top 20 for overall child well-being (OCWB), with six of the states appearing in the top 10 for overall child well-being. The top 10 higher tax states are Wisconsin (#10 in taxes/#10 in OCWB), California (#9 in taxes/#19 in OCWB), Washington state (#8 in taxes/#7 in OCWB), Rhode Island (#7 in taxes/#11 in OCWB), Maine (#6 in taxes/#4 in OCWB), Wyoming (#5 in taxes/#41 in OCWB), Massachusetts (#4 in taxes/#3 in OCWB), New Jersey (#3 in taxes/#9 in OCWB), New York (#2 in taxes/#14 in OCWB) and Connecticut (#1 in taxes/#5). Of this top 10 higher tax state group, only one state, Wyoming, ranks in the bottom 10 (#41) on average child well-being.
* Kids do worse in states that cut taxes and starve child and family programs. Seven of the 10 lowest tax states rank in the bottom 20 states for overall child well being, with four in the bottom 10 states. The bottom 10 low tax states are Alaska (#50 in taxes/#40 in overall child well-being), Alabama (#49 in taxes/#44 in OCWB), Tennessee (#48 in taxes/#38 in OCWB), South Dakota (#47 in taxes/#32 in OCWB), Mississippi (#46 in taxes/#50 in OCWB), North Dakota (#45 in taxes/#16 in OCWB), Oklahoma (#44 in taxes/#47 in OCWB), Louisiana (#43 in taxes/#49 in OCWB), Idaho (#42 in taxes/#24 in OCWB) and Montana (#41 in taxes/#27 in OCWB). None of the 10 lowest tax burden states are among the top 10 states for child well being.
The overall child well-being rankings for the 50 states are based on a wide range of 11 diverse health and quality of life issues for children. Proposed federal budget cuts in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, and the Social Services Block Grant, among many others, threaten to make things even worse in the low-tax/low-investment states.
Michael R. Petit, author of “Homeland Insecurity… American Children at Risk,” and founder of Every Child Matters, said: “This should be a real wake-up call to those who think that taxes are a ‘four-letter word.’ When you slash state and federal taxes, you shortchange the life and health of U.S. children. It is that simple and it is that tragic. We need to get out of this simplistic mind set that makes a virtue out of cutting taxes and related public investments with no thought to the harm done to our children, including the most at-risk young Americans. The hidden price tags of tax cuts are reduced child health and, in all too many cases, increased risk of premature mortality. No parent, grandparent or other concerned adult should be silent until Congress and the states restore the needed funding to give all American children a shot of good health.”
Norton Garfinkle, chairman of the Future of American Democracy Foundation, senior editor of the Yale University Press series on the Future of American Democracy and former professor of economics at Amherst College, said: “Michael Petit shows that while the U.S. ranks close to the top in average income among developed countries, it ranks last in providing its families with many social services that produce positive child well-being. And he goes one step beyond that in showing that inside our country there is a further divide between uncaring rich and poor states which prefer low taxes over child well-being and rich and poor states which care enough to support tax-supported investments in child well-being … I want to emphasize here that the finding is not that rich states take care of children better than poor states. The finding is that (rich or poor) states with higher levels of taxation take care of children better than (rich or poor) states with lower levels of taxati!
THE “INVEST IN KIDS” AGENDA
“Homeland Insecurity” outlines a 10-year, $500 billion “Invest in Kids” agenda to improve the life chances of all U.S. children, regardless of where they live. Among the investments proposed:
* Child Health. Create a universal children's health insurance program similar to Medicare for the elderly - Over 8,000,000 children do not have health insurance and millions more are at risk of losing their coverage. Combining and expanding Medicaid, S-CHIP, and employment-based insurance is achievable. The Every Child Matters Education Fund opposes any attempt by the Administration and Congress to cut or block grant the Medicaid entitlement.
* Child Abuse. Intensify federal efforts to reduce child abuse and neglect - Nearly three million reports of child abuse and neglect are made annually. Proven programs exist to prevent and treat child abuse, a widespread problem that contributes to many other social ills. The Every Child Matters Education Fund opposes any attempt by the Administration and Congress to block-grant the Title IV-E foster care program.
* After-School Programs. Promote after-school programs that provide learning activities and connect kids with caring adults - After-school programs have been shown to help prevent crime, drug use, and teen pregnancy. Millions of unsupervised children and teens would benefit. The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program has not seen an increase in federal funding in three years, resulting in fewer and fewer children being served. The Every Child Matters Education Fund supports a substantial increase in funding for after-school programs.
* Pre-School Education. Ensure that every child, regardless of income or background, has access to high quality pre-school education - Millions of eligible three and four year-olds are not enrolled in quality pre-kindergarten programs that can help prepare them for school. The Every Child Matters Education Fund opposes any effort by the Administration in Congress to block grant or cut funding for Head Start and supports universal access to pre-school education for 3 and 4 year olds.
* Working Families and Taxes. Extend the child tax credit to the working poor - Currently, families that make between $10,500 and $26,500 per year, even though they pay federal payroll taxes, do not receive the $1,000 per child credit that families with higher incomes receive. Extending tax cuts to these families will help lift them from poverty and simply show fairness as trillion of dollars in tax cuts have gone to more fortunate individuals.
ABOUT THE NEW BOOK
“Homeland Insecurity … American Children at Risk” relies on federal data to show the unprecedented obstacles that families face to raise healthy children. The book exposes how anti-tax/anti-government ideology has harmed children and families. “Homeland Insecurity” outlines a 10-year, $500 billion “Invest in Kids” agenda to improve the life chances of all U.S. children, regardless of where they live. This important new book is available on the Web at http://www.everychildmatters.org.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or [email protected]; or Ursula Ellis, (202) 223-2443 or [email protected].
EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of this news event will be available on the Web at http://www.everychildmatters.org as of 7 p.m. ET on February 21, 2007.
Flemming Rose: “When [christians] say you are not showing respect, I would say: you are not asking for my respect, you are asking for my submission….”