Welfare Cost $746 Billion Last Year – More Than Social Security or Basic Defense

By the end of 1963, the poverty rate in the United States was around 19%.  In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced his War of Poverty program.  The first part of the War of Poverty was the enactment of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 which launched the Head State and Job Corps programs along with others to help those in poor families find a way out of poverty.

The second part of Johnson’s War on Poverty was the Social Security Act of 1965 which led to the creation of Medicare and Medicaid.  These programs were the first stages of a national healthcare system, providing federal health insurance for seniors and poor families.

In time, the poverty level dropped significantly in the U.S., but not necessarily because of Johnson’s War on Poverty, but largely due to an overall change in the nation’s economy.  The poverty level in 2006 was only 12.3%.  However, that level has been steadily climbing ever since and President Barack Obama’s War on Middle Class has been a large contributor the increase.

When Obama took office, 12.5% of the American people lived at or below the poverty line.  In 2009, that jumped to 13.2%.  In 2010 it jumped up to 14.3% and in 2011 it reached 15.1%.  That equates to over 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line and there is no indication that the steady climb will end anytime soon.

The vast majority of these people turn to welfare to feed and clothe their families.  What originally started out to be a band-aid to fix a temporary economic wound has now become a permanent life-support system for millions of Americans.  And like the medical field, life-support costs a great deal more than band-aids.

Wanting to know what welfare was costing, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee requested a report from the Congressional Research Service.  When the report came in, it showed that welfare costs had risen from $563 billion in 2008 to $746 billion in 2010.  This is more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of change spent by the federal government.

Sessions’ Budget Committee staff also calculated that there is another $283 billion contributed by states to welfare programs, raising the grand total to $1.03 trillion in just one year.

The largest single part of the welfare spending is Medicaid which rose from $82 billion in 2008 to $296 billion in 2011.

Sessions responded to the report saying:

“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.  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.”

It’s been a long proven fact that just giving money to the poor only creates more poor people.  We need to stop just giving them money without anything in return.  Think how much more productive it would be to pay the poor to work at various jobs rather than to just give them the money lay around home.  They would learn skills and how to be self-sufficient and become contributing members of society instead of people who just sit back and feed off the rest of us like leaches.

Benjamin Franklin recognized that over 230 years ago.  I’ll conclude with his words of wisdom as he puts it eloquently:

“In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries that the more the public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.  There is no country in the world where so many provision are established for them (as in England); so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many almshouses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor.  Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful?  And do they use their best endeavors to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burden?  On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent.  The day you passed that, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, but giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.”

“In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase in poverty.  Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners.  Saint Monday and Saint Tuesday will soon cease to be holidays.  Six days shalt thou labor, thought one on the oldest commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” [The Real Benjamin Franklin: Part II: Timeless Treasures from Benjamin Franklin, Prepared by W. Cleon Skousen and M. Richard Maxfield.  National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2008, Pp 453-4.]



  • Vote2012

    This article should be saved and distributed to those that always want more and more from the government.

  • ARMYOF69

    We need to review ALL claims for ANY taxpayer monies. Do it every two years.
    Vet all those on EBT, housing, medicaid receivers, No speak english= you get an aspirin
    Jail all who are found to be stealing our money .

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-Recla/100000240763352 Wayne Recla

      If we did what you recommended- "Jail all who are found to be stealing our money", then OWE-BUMA would have to be 1st in line to go behind bars. When he stated "The Buck Stops Here" (which was a quote "stolen" from an earlier, honest President), however, with OWE-BUMA, the "Buck" REALLY DOES STOP WITH HIM, when he gets access to a buck, it goes no further than with him, of course, so does the "Change and Hope".

  • guest

    Great article and so true!
    Sign in National Parks: "Please don't feed the bears as they become dependent on hand-outs." One would think that humans would respond differently than bears.
    The increase in medicaid is directly associated with the influx of illegals across our open borders. Our government welcomes the poor from any country. If they can make it to our borders, the government makes working Americans support them. They are immediately put on medicaid and every welfare program available. The government pays these illegals to have more kids, increasing the welfare crisis. Government also pays for them to encourage their extended family members (real or fake) to join them at the taxpayers expense. One Trillion in give-aways will soon be Two Trillion! Americans cannot support every person in the world that wants to get on the gravy train. We must have strick immigration laws and enforce them vigorously! No other country allows illegals to flood across their borders, and they sure don't support them.
    America needs to allow immigrants that have something to offer the country rather than those that have nothing to add, but are only a drain on our resources. No one should come to this country without a job and money to support themselves....

  • ARMYOF69

    Vote ;;;;;;;;Just go out and vote ROMNEY.....our only hope for Any FUTURE AT ALL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.atkinson.948 Steve Atkinson

    barry is just redistributing the weath, the marxist way!

    • http://twitter.com/MarilynBr MarilynBr

      Obama is just following after his inspiration. Marx was a political agitator who never did real work and was supported for the most part by other people.

  • DavidE

    I am 72 and still busting my backside working well over 40 hours a week to pay high taxes to help take care of these "DEAD BEATS" that won't get off their backside to do anything productive for their country. I also pay for medicare after retiring from the US Army. We were told we would have free medical and dental care for the rest of our lives, lol. They said they would cover our education under the GI Bill which they terminated shortly after I retired. It ended at 2400 hours, December 31, of 1989. "Mamas' don't let your babies grow up to be soldiers". The Government give it and take it away. Oh, Yes, I do not go along with the policy of unemployment compensation, I can assure you that if it were extended to 30 years these people, many of which are double dippers under the table, would NOT have found a job. Also, that is a lot of money earned where there is NO taxes being paid. We reward people for negativity and penalize people for positive action. Come on Nov. 6th, 2012.

    • adamenochnoah

      What tax do you think you are paying to to help take care of the deadbeats?

      • sandraleesmith46

        If he's still working, income tax, among others.

        • adamenochnoah

          Many people do not understand that the unconstitutional income tax goes straight to the International Bankers who own the Federal Reserve. It is used as payment on the interest of the debt they claim we owe them. Not one penny of that money is used to help Americans.

    • lol

      Make sure you continue to make provisions to bail out the banking institutions Qe3 & etc ..Dead beats are actualy unskilled theves ....

    • Harold L.

      You are 100% right !

    • daves

      Even if you include unemployment, welfare spending does not come close to the defense budget like this article says. Also it is nowhere near $746 billion. I don't know why Godfather Politics feels the need to lie to us.


  • Fiesty

    The USA has become a magnet for lazy, baby making, drug using, shiftless American haters from all over the world. Ths word has spread that we will except ANYONE, and give them money for invading our space. WHAT"S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

  • Mary

    This all lends itself to the immigration. The US is currently allowing mass immigration into our country from the 3rd world to live off the American tax payer. The system was put in place to help temporarily laid off folks to support their families. During the depression American families would be ashamed to be on the system and would get off it as fast as they could find a job. Now immigrant's from the 3rd world are of the assumption the American people owe them a living so they come here with their extended families and live off it at the expense of the American people.
    What are they going to do when the system collapses and the have not's exceed the have's?
    We're close to that tipping point now. We have created a system where we have encouraged the have not's to reproduce at our expense where the have not's now live off the system generation by generation. Where the have's no longer reproduce because they're too busy supporting the system.

  • annelouisegelinas

    It is fraud by many Americans who no longer care that they are stealing food out of the mouths of their fellow Americans. Fraud is making America bankrupt. We have folks everywhere that are abusing welfare and no one does a thing about it. When America is bankrupt where do the folks frauding all of us think the food will come from when there is no money or no food.? Watch your back. Build storage units where no one can find them. Prepare for the day when the looters will be charging through the neighbornoods of America to take it all. It can happen.

  • shamu9

    Let the Wogs Starve! They only sell the food stamps for 1/2 value that gives them seed money to Deal Dope. How do I know?? I am a retired Fl. Correction Officer, who talked to, and Learned from the Convicts. I should write a Book!! Whatever you Think Welfare etc. Pays, quadruple that amount! The only reason the "Poor" aren't rioting now, is That we're giving them everything they Demand, Faster than they can Carry It Off!!

  • adamenochnoah

    Good news welfare haters. The whole world economic system based on the Dollar is about to collapse & no one but the super Elite are going have anything, including food.

    Lyndon LaRouche : "The Dollar is collapsing the world economy & the only way to prevent it is WW3, or start afresh with a credit system instead of a monetary system.

  • sovereigntyofone

    Instead of " let them eat cake " it's give them condoms and cellphones" ( but above all keep them unemployed on welfare and depedent on the government for their lives).
    I don't need to tell you that Obama was full of B.S. when he spoke of " We have shovel ready jobs waiting " and " I'm focused like a laser on creating new jobs in the country "
    He had no intentions of putting Americans back to work.
    When you are a follower of the communist manifesto (with an Islamic religious twist), one of the first things you have to do is destroy and get rid of the middle (working ) class. Then you have just the ruling elite at the top known as party memebers and the very bottom poverty working class. Of course in the mean time you must take total control over their lives through medical treatments and providing them food (entitlements). We all know how it turned out with the French aristocrats that said " let them eat cake ", the French revolution. History has a bad habbit of repeating it's self only this time it could happen in the United States if Obama is re-elected and allowed to continue on this path of destruction of the United States.

  • fliteking

    Liberals are using Welfare to provide a good standard of living for lazy louts and illegals . . . they get votes in return.

    Liberals don't give two ŜhiŤs about your family or the Country.

    Selfish pricks.

  • Raymond

    If you know Jesus as your Lord & Saviour this is what you have
    to look forward to...........

  • 57girl

    Maybe Obama needs to quit traveling to Mexico to instruct their President on how to educate their people to come to America and apply for free housing and food stamps. You'd think in order to receive welfare in America, you'd at least have to be here legally, wouldn't you. This problem is created on purpose by our Government as they march us into the North American Union. And the more people they can trap into Government dependency, the easier it will be to erase our borders.

    If left to me, only American Citizens would qualify for welfare, social security, or medicaid. Think of the money we'd save. Not to mention, when you cross the border of other Nations, what are the consequences? We are getting exactly what our Government is paying for our of our tax revenues. Makes you kind of wish our Candidates would talk about cutting spending, instead of raising taxes, doesn't it? Of course if they did that, they'd be mentioning the NAU and maybe even the Federal Reserves power (which is why we can provide benefits for anyone with a pulse, citizen, or not.) over our economy.

  • Rwolf

    Once Obama has enough people on Welfare, future leftest politicians will have an army of socialist voters to vote away, confiscate working Americans' assets to pay for more on welfare until the system breaks. What these dump leftest don't realize is that historically Fascism follows and the leftest are first to be harshly dealt with.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O24NYT5HOQNDEJ3TUT5QOTLOF4 TM

    I say drug test those that are on welfare and make sure they pass the test, fail you are cut off then and also don't give these illegals any help as they're like a stray dog feed it and it will stay ignore it and it will move on.

  • deeme

    I admit I don't know very much about welfare, I've been poor but never so poor I expected someone else to help me out..I have a few questions, how long are you allowed to be on welfare>? Is this like unemployment? It helps you out of a tough spell or is it life...??? I think we should give them a place to live and food , not money, there is too much of a chance they will take advantage of the system..they will pay it back through the community..We are making it too easy for the ones who aren't working and too hard for the ones who are..It is crazy..People who come over here and break the law to be here have it better then those of U.S. following the laws..how backwards is that>??

    • djw663

      Once your on welfare they don't care how long you stay on it. One individual won several million in the lottery and he still got to keep his welfare benefits because it was not considered income so they told him to keep his welfare benefits.