Ron Haskins
Ron Haskins (Courtesy photo)

Ron Haskins, a finalist for the University of Colorado's visiting conservative scholar post, gave a presentation Tuesday, discussing how single parenthood and the budget deficit are setting children up for failure.

He said the nation's democracy is threatened because the next generation is being forced to pay off baby boomers' debt and fewer resources are available to invest in education and programs benefiting youth.

"It isn't just that they have to pay our benefits," Haskins said. "It reduces our ability to invest in our children."

Haskins gave his talk, "Why Worry About the Federal Deficit?: Our Kids Can Pay," to an audience at CU's Old Main. Other candidates preceded him with their talks. Steven Hayward talked about a conservative approach to environmentalism Friday, and Linda Chavez discussed immigration reform Monday.

Haskins has served as senior editor of "The Future of Children," a collaboration between the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.

Research from the Brookings Institution shows that public spending on children averaged $8,942 per person younger than 19 in 2004. In the same year, public spending on the elderly was $21,904 per person, about 2.4 times as much as that on children.

During a question-and-answer session, Haskins said poverty would be 30 percent lower if the marriage rate today were the same as it was in 1970. The marriage rate in 1970 was about 72 percent, compared with 59 percent now.


Children being raised by single parents are more likely to experience teen pregnancies, commit crimes and not graduate from high school, he said.

Keith Maskus, associate dean of social sciences and chairman of the search committee for the conservative scholar position, said there were 47 applicants for the job.

The advisory committee intends to meet late next week and make a single recommendation to Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Steven Leigh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Maskus said.

The dean and chancellor will then decide whether to accept the recommendation and begin working on an offer letter. It will likely take two to three weeks until the university reveals who it has chosen for the job.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or