Liberals and libertarians constantly decry defense spending as excessive and single it out for reductions. Yet, defense spending is microscopic compared to welfare spending.
Today, welfare spending is the largest item in the federal budget, standing at $888 bn out of the $3.6 trillion of the federal budget, that is, almost 25% of it.
The $888 bn sum represents ALL federal welfare programs, but doesn’t include non-welfare-programs (and therefore doesn’t include the SS program nor the Medicare program).
These 70 welfare programs are spread among 14 different federal agencies.
When Bush left office, annual federal welfare spending was already gargantuan – $522 bn – and was larger than Bush’s last defense budget ($512 bn in 2008 dollars, which is $517 bn in today’s dollars). But Obama significantly increased welfare spending – by $366 bn by FY2010, that is, more than 50%.
Already during FY2009, Obama increased welfare spending to $697 bn – by $255 bn, i.e. 48.85% – but now, welfare spending is even higher ($888 bn per annum).
The $366 bn welfare spending growth since January 2009 is the largest welfare spending increase ever. And yet, even though welfare spending is the largest cause of America’s budget deficits and America’s debt, Obama intends to continue to grow it. He plans to spend $1 trillion per annum on welfare programs by FY2014 and has set a plan for the federal, state and local governments to spend $10.3 trillion on welfare programs during the next several decades. Of that sum, $7.5 trillion is to be spent by the federal government itself, and $2.8 trillion by state governments as a result of federal diktats.
1) Since LBJ began the “War on Poverty”, the federal government has spent $15.9 TRILLION (in 2009 dollars) on welfare programs. (By contrast, the combined cost of every war America has ever fought, including the Revolutionary War, was $6.4 trillion in 2009 dollars.)
2) Welfare spending has always been the fastest-growing part of federal spending. It has grown by 292% (yes, by 292 percent) since 1989, while the SS program and the Medicare program have grown by 213% since 1989.
3) In 1965, welfare spending was only 1.2% of GDP. Today, it accounts for 5.92% of GDP, while defense spending stands at a meagre 3.56% of GDP.
4) Obama’s FY2010 welfare spending ($888 bn) is larger than the entire sum spent on the Iraqi war than the Bush Admin ($622 bn).
5) Already as of FY2000, welfare spending cost over 4% of America’s GDP (while Clinton deliberately kept defense spending at 3% of GDP, the lowest level since FY1941). During the Bush era, welfare spending was always higher than ANY other item in the federal budget except the SS program.
6) As of 7th March 2001, federal welfare spending cost 4.4% of GDP.
7) The welfare spending level as of 2000 was $434 bn in 2000 dollars, that is, $549.88 bn in FY2010 dollars. This sum is larger than the defense budget of FY2000, the defense budget for the current fiscal year ($534 bn), and the proposed defense budget for FY2011 ($547 bn). Of course, the FY2010 welfare spending level is not $434 bn, it is $888 bn.
During the 1990s, there was a much-vaunted, but minor, welfare roll reform, which reformed only ONE of the 70 federal welfare programs, namely the “Aid for Families with Dependent Children” program (and that reform was abolished by Obama’s stimulus package). The other 69 federal welfare programs remain unreformed to this day. None of these 70 programs were ever abolished.
The US Census Bureau constantly lies, “Oh my goodness, we have 40 million poor people. We need to spend more money.” and claims that “poverty levels” are high. But it counts only 4% of welfare spending as income.
One of the reasons why welfare costs are so high is that there are many single mothers in the US. Almost all single mothers are dependent on welfare programs. These single mothers alone get welfare rolls worth $350 bn per year. Last year, 41% of all newborn American kids were born out of wedlock. (By comparison, as of 1963, 93% of newborn American kids were born to married parents.) Of course, 70% of unmarried single women voted for Obama, because they always vote for the guy who offers the biggest giveaways.
Another reason is the ethos. Before the 1960s, troubled individuals applied to their local government or to a private charity (e.g. the Salvation Army). A downtrodden individual had to explain how he got into trouble and how he intended to rescue himself from it. He was monitored to ensure that he wasn’t lying. Welfare program costs were relatively small. Today, with minimal qualifications, you can receive welfare rolls if you’re willing to bother to come to your mailbox once a month.
Before the 1960s, welfare programs were seldom talked about, because they weren’t compelling issues. They were small programs operated by local governments, and were available only to truly downtrodden individuals. Today, the welfare state is a national scandal. Obama has hiked welfare spending to $888 bn per year during just 16 months, and there is a permanent dependency class.
Yet, politicians (Democrats and Republicans alike) are refusing to reduce welfare spending. They seldom even talk about it. Instead, they are working to cut the meagre defense budget in order to maintain and expand federal welfare programs. Recently, a panel of pacifists convened by Congressman Barney Frank of MA called for $1 trillion defense spending cuts – which means a total abolition of the US military for 2 fiscal years. Obama proposes to reduce defense spending by FY2012 by $92 bn, to a meagre level of $457 bn, while he continues to increase welfare spending so that the welfare bums who voted him into office will vote for his Congressional allies.
Why do politicians continue to sabotage America’s defense while increasing (rather than reducing) welfare programs?
Because these programs have an entire dependency class that lives off them, depends on them (and therefore on the federal government, which wants as many people as possible to be dependent on it, so that it can manage them like puppets), and is not willing to surrender them. This dependency class will vote out of office any politician who proposes to reduce (or eliminate) welfare programs.
On the other hand, defense has very few defenders (myself an a few other people) and no constituency to defend it. That’s why for the last 57 years politicians have been shamelessly using the DOD as a piggy bank to finance their bloated, unjustified, unnecessary domestic programs while lying that the defense budget is “profligate”.
var infolink_pid = 109683;
var infolink_wsid = 0;