Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Out Of Control Welfare Spending
More than one-third of Americans are now receiving means-tested federal benefits a Heritage Foundation analyst says. The Obama administration is planning to vastly increase spending on welfare and now measures the success of public assistance programs by the number of people signed up for benefits.
While the 2012 numbers do not represent a huge leap from recent reports, they do confirm the sheer size of U.S. public assistance expenditures this is about one-third of the American population that receives some type of means-tested welfare benefit, which is a huge number. We have a welfare system that continues to increase in cost. There are 80 different federally means-tested welfare programs, so it’s a very large welfare system, and I believes the government has a very wrongheaded approach to determining the success of these programs.
Unfortunately, the federal government tends to measure welfare success by the number of people receiving benefits. I think that’s really the key issue here, the mentality that a huge welfare system is a successful welfare system.
Any lingering doubts about the deficiencies of Obamanomics can be dispelled with one piece of data: The U.S. has spent $3.7 trillion on welfare in the past five years, with virtually nothing to show for it.
That cumulative spending on welfare during the Obama years has been five times greater than what's been spent on transportation, education and NASA — combined.
Maybe that shouldn't be surprising. Obama, after all, promised a "fundamental transformation" of America. He's fulfilled that promise with a vengeance.
Means-tested aid programs now number about 80. Food stamps, with more than 51 million recipients, have gotten the lion's share of recent attention. But that's just one of 15 food-aid programs. No, I'm not against temporary help for truly desperate people. But welfare spending has grown year in and year out regardless of how the economy has performed or whether unemployment is up or down.
And a lot of welfare spending is pure waste. The IRS admitted to the disbursement of $335 billion in bogus payments over the past decade under the earned income tax credit — a kind of direct welfare transfer from taxpayers to low-income workers.
Unfortunately, the welfare state will only grow. A Senate report earlier this year noted that, based on Congressional Budget Office projections, welfare spending will rise 80% over the next 10 years. That's $21 trillion in welfare spending over that time. Just cutting that growth to 60%, the report found, would save taxpayers $1 trillion. But, as we've seen, that won't happen.
Yet, surely all this money must be making a dent in all the poverty. Nope. Today, 56.5 million Americans live in poverty and more than 70% of all federal spending goes to dependency programs, like Social Security and Medicare. At the same time, nearly half of all Americans no longer pay any federal income tax at all.
This nation was once filled with proud workers and businesses eager to hire them. But, as noted now, a record 92.6 million Americans of working age are no longer in the labor force.
Logic tells us they have to be supported by (1) their own savings, (2) working children or spouses or (3) welfare.
Increasingly, it seems, (3) is the answer. The Census Department reported just that 49% of the population, or 151 million Americans, got federal aid from at least one program in 2011 — up from 94 million in 2000.
The U.S., sadly, has become a nation of dependents, and Obamanomics is accelerating the process. With debt at $17 trillion and rising, more than $63 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and fewer workers to pay for it all we will soon be bankrupt.
A nation of welfare dependents who won't or can't work or pay taxes cannot prosper. Instead, it becomes stagnant and unproductive. We're well on our way to being some other countries bitch, so hats off to president Obama, this is that fundamental change he promised.