The government spent lavishly in fiscal 2011, especially on federal welfare programs, doling out more than $1 trillion on 83 means-tested programs — the year’s largest expenditure and a startling 32 percent increase since President Obama entered the White House. According to new data released by the Senate Budget Committee, compiled based on a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) study, the combination of state and federal welfare spending is more than the government spends on Medicare, Social Security, or non-war defense.
The report omits spending on Medicare, Social Security, healthcare for veterans without disabilities, and means-tested veterans pension plans. According to CRS research, federal welfare spending spiked from $563 billion in fiscal year 2008 to $746 billion in fiscal year 2011, a towering 32-percent increase.
Furthermore, spending on the 10 largest federal welfare programs has doubled as a share of the budget in the last three decades. Adjusted for inflation, according to Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, this dollar amount has increased 378 percent in that three-decade time frame.
Food assistance programs, the third largest welfare program behind cash and health assistance, encountered the largest spending hike, with 71 percent more spending in 2011 than in 2008. Growth under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, was the chief stimulant to the spending hike. The Daily Caller provided further details on the CRS analysis:
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