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Federal Welfare Spending to Rise 80 Percent in Next Decade

Posted: January 16, 2013 at 5:37 am   /   by

What’s that you say? You thought it couldn’t go much higher? You thought we were already spending too much and were perilously in debt?

Apparently, such matters are of no consequence to the high rollers in Washington:

Federal welfare spending will skyrocket 80 percent over the next decade, according to new analysis by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. Here’s a chart, provided by the committee, detailing the growth in spending:

“This chart displays projected federal spending on federal welfare programs over the next ten years, based on data from the Congressional Research Service and Congressional Budget Office,” the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee explains. “These figures do not count state contributions to federal welfare programs (primarily on low-income health assistance) which brought total welfare spending in FY2011 to more than $1 trillion – dwarfing any other budget item including Medicare and Social Security, and totaling enough to mail every household in poverty a check for 60k each year.”

So, let’s see if we’re getting this right—if we were to get rid of all the bureaucracy and all the different programs and just give people cash, we could instantly give them a middle class income? And yet they stay poor and we keep spending money. And yet the people in D.C. pass themselves off as “experts.”

Part of the problem is that we’re giving assistance to people who don’t need it. What’s worse, though, is that we’re actually trying to convince people to take welfare:

Part of the large increase in welfare spending is driven by a series of controversial recruitment methods that include aggressive outreach to those who say they do not need financial assistance.  Recruitment workers are even instructed on how to “overcome the word ‘no’” when individuals resist enrollment.  The USDA and Department of Homeland Security also have promotions to increase the number of immigrants on welfare despite legal prohibitions on welfare use among those seeking admittance into the United States.

That borders on madness. Either that, or an intentional effort to bankrupt and destabilize the nation. How else does one describe this:

Welfare spending has increased thirty percent in the last four years, but the number living in poverty has gone up, not down.  The best example of our broken welfare state may be SNAP, or the food stamp program: food stamp spending has increased every single year since 2000, even when the economy is improving.  1 in 6 Americans are now on food stamps and the USDA has an aggressive campaign to enroll millions more – whether they need the benefit or not.

Republicans have a sensible notion: How about helping people not be poor anymore?

Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, responds. “No longer can we measure compassion by  how much money we spend on poverty but how many people we help to rise out of poverty.

Here’s the problem with Senator Sessions’ idea: It’s not that it’s not a good idea—it is. But he will be called “hateful” and a “tool of his rich friends” for even daring to suggest it. The media will pour it on, and enough of the people will buy it for the stratagem to work. Perhaps, in fact, that’s part of the point: getting more people on welfare means more people for the Democrats to then gain the support of, by saying “Look what we’re giving you—look what the Republicans are trying to take away.”

Talk about hateful. Could they treat humans with any more disdain?

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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Federal Welfare Spending to Rise 80 Percent in Next Decade