‘Murica: Land of The Welfare
It’s getting more difficult every day to argue that the United States is not already a socialist nation.
In 2011, the federal government spent roughly $668.2 billion on welfare programs.
That was an increase of $193 billion since Obama first took office. Over two-and-a-half times greater than any increase over a similar time frame in US history. It means an increase in means-tested welfare spending of 2.4 percent of the GDP.
When you add in state and local tax expenditures, it hits nearly a trillion dollars annually.
These figures would be even higher in 2020. That’s a scary thought.
Now, the federal government spending is far crazy enough. But the state and local tax authorities are also adding nearly 300 billion, or nearly half of the federal government spending, to that number.
Let’s break it down.
State and Local Government Spend Most Of Their Money on Welfare
In 2016, state and local government spent their highest share of total spending on welfare.
All graphs from the Urban Institute here. The images list their sources.
See the first graph:
Public welfare includes spending on means-tested programs, such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and others.
The majority of this welfare expense comes from states. See here:
Insanely, 42% of state spending is on public welfare. Only 18% goes to higher education and practically no state spending goes to elementary and secondary education.
They also neglect health and hospitals in favor of more welfare money.
Even with 42% of state money going to welfare, 4% from local also goes toward it.
This did not always use to be the case.
Historically, public welfare was a lot lower, if it even existed. Yet, people still survived and the country still prospered.
Here are the most recent trends since 1977:
Public welfare from 1977 to now has nearly doubled. It increased from 12.5% to 22.5%.
The cost of welfare has passed the cost of education for our kids. Before this, public welfare was even lower. Typically hovering around the other data lines like police and corrections.
It makes you wonder how so many Americans survived just fine when we spent literally 1/10th of this on welfare for most of the republics existence. Within the current political climate, most politicians would say that even a minor cutback on spending would kill millions. Unsurprisingly, I’m sure most of the voters on welfare (that get the free paychecks) will back those politicians.
welfare above education
It was shocking to see this trend. Regretfully, it was not wholly unexpected.
When you consider the stupid ways the government spends our tax money and recent stupid comments on student loans by our presidential candidates it seems like no one knows how to manage money.
Welfare > education is not how to do it. Education is a key element in getting people off of welfare. If you spend less on education that will just inevitably create more people that need welfare. They need to learn to succeed and make enough money to not depend on a government handout. Reducing education funding in favor of funding even more welfare is simply a recipe for disaster.
That’s not to say that education should be free but it damn well shouldn’t be dis-incentivized.
In a time when conservatives don’t even know what they’re conserving anymore, it’s no wonder we keep falling further to socialism. It’s not even necessarily their fault – it’s by design.
As republic empires progress, they fall further into socialistic tendencies. It’s hard to escape.
But one would be hard pressed to argue that the United States is not at least somewhat socialist when we’re spending $1 trillion on welfare. We’ve lost some ground against them, at the very least. Especially when 42% of state budgets go toward welfare.
I’m not a traditional conservative, either. I’m not against welfare programs at all. In fact, I think they’re essential for a healthy, functioning community. But they shouldn’t be paid for by the federal government. Even state government should have minimal involvement. The community, the local governments, should be the ones offering welfare. Keep them local, keep them accountable.
A Texan should not be handing over their money to someone in Alabama they’ll never meet. It makes no sense. When you receive the money from the community, you are accountable to that community. We can hold no one accountable to the federal or state governments. We could hold everyone accountable to the local government.
Regardless if you agree my theory or not, you must notice that this current system is not sustainable. Something has to change or we’ll just keep funneling poorly educated individuals into dependency through welfare. Eventually, we’re not going to have enough productive people to support the welfare system that the rest mooch off of.
Nothing good can come from more dependency on the government.
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