Archive for the ‘Food Stamps’ Category

THE END OF GOVERNMENT

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

 


The end of government

By , Published: February 9, 2014

Something strange is happening in Washington. We are slowly dismantling the federal government, even as its spending is growing larger. The paradox is that governmental competence is being systematically degraded while the government’s size, as measured by its budget, is increasing. We are spending more and getting less, and — unless present trends are reversed — this will continue for years. It threatens the end of government as we know it.

The cause is no mystery. An aging population and higher health spending automatically increase budget outlays, which induce the president and Congress to curb spending on almost everything else, from defense to food stamps. Over the next decade, all the government’s projected program growth stems from Social Security and health care, including the Affordable Care Act. By 2024, everything else will represent only 7.4 percent of national income (gross domestic product), the lowest share since at least 1940, says Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office.

This is the central budget story, and it’s largely missed — or ignored — by political leaders, the media, political scientists and the public. The welfare state is taking over government. It’s strangling government’s ability to respond to other national problems and priorities, because the constituencies for welfare benefits, led by Social Security’s 57 million, are more numerous and powerful than their competitors for federal support. Politicians of both parties are loath to challenge these large, expectant and generally sympathetic groups.

The United States, of course, is not the only advanced society grappling with aging, but it is extreme in its stubborn denial of the obvious. The Pew Research Center recently polled people in 21 countries about whether aging is a problem. The United States ranked 19th in its unconcern, ahead of only Indonesia and Egypt, whose populations are young. Only 26 percent of Americans thought aging was a problem. The share was 87 percent in Japan, 55 percent in Germany and 45 percent in France. (more…)

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TOTAL WELFARE SPENDING – THE STATISTICS

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

 

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