‘Welfare’ spending topped $1 trillion in 2011


Total federal and state “welfare” spending topped $1 trillion last year, marking a nearly 30 percent increase since the start of the Obama administration — according to a new congressional report which documented spending across more than 80 benefit programs for low-income families.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, released the figures Thursday, compiled based on a committee analysis and a new Congressional Research Service study. The stats show that the combination of federal and state “welfare” spending is more than the country spends on Medicare, Social Security or non-war defense.

Sessions, who has been on a campaign of late against what he sees as aggressive and unchecked spending on food stamps and other programs, called the figures “astounding.”

“No longer should we measure compassion by how much money the government spends but by how many people we help to rise out of poverty,” he said in a statement. “Welfare assistance should be seen as temporary whenever possible, and the goal must be to help more of our fellow citizens attain gainful employment and financial independence.”

The study factored in Medicaid, the federal health care aid program for low-income families. But it also covered 82 other federal programs that Sessions classified as “welfare” — from food stamps to public housing to various tax breaks for low-income families.

The CRS study found the federal portion of all that spending rose from $563 billion in fiscal 2008 to $746 billion in fiscal 2011 — representing a 32 percent increase. Republicans on the budget committee calculated that, with total state spending factored in, the total amount rose from nearly $800 billion in 2008 to over $1 trillion last year – a 29 percent increase.

According to Sessions’ office, the federal share is now roughly one-fifth of the budget.


Fox News has the full article

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