Welfare now costs $1,030,000,000,000… single largest budget item
The government spent approximately $1.03 trillion on 83 means-tested federal welfare programs in fiscal year 2011 alone — a price tag that makes welfare that year the government’s largest expenditure, according to new data released by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.
The total sum taxpayers spent on federal welfare programs was derived from a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on federal welfare spending — which topped out at $745.84 billion for fiscal year 2011 — combined with an analysis from the Republican Senate Budget Committee staff of state spending on federal welfare programs (based on “The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance”), which reached $282.7 billion in fiscal year 2011.
The data excludes spending on Social Security, Medicare, means-tested health care for veterans without service-connected disabilities, and the means-tested veterans pension program.
“These astounding figures demonstrate that the United States spends more on federal welfare than any other program in the federal budget,” Sessions wrote The Daily Caller in an email. “It is time to restore — not retreat from — the moral principles of the 1996 welfare reform. Such reforms, combined with measures to promote growth, will help both the recipient and the Treasury.”
When state spending on federal welfare programs — specifically Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program — was thrown into the mix, the amount spent on federal welfare increased 28 percent, from $798.813 billion in fiscal year 2008 to $1.028.54 trillion in fiscal year 2011.