Quick – what Department or Agency of the Federal government spends the most?
If you said the Department of Defense – not even close. That’s a “NO GO” at this station.
It’s not the Social Security Administration, either. I was rather surprised by that.
Rather, the dubious “honor” goes to the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the 2011 Financial Report of the US Government (chart, p. v), HHS now spends approximately 24 cents out of each Federal dollar spent – or nearly 1 out of every 4 dollars spent by the Federal government. Social Security is second with 21 cents; DoD is third with 20. The remaining 35 cents are spent by the VA (about 5 cents out of each Federal dollar), on interest payments to the public (7 cents per dollar) and the rest of the Federal government combined (spends the remaining 23 cents).
Something is seriously wrong when we are spending literally 45% of Federal outlays on what are only a partial list of Federal social welfare/unearned entitlement programs (others exist outside of HHS; the SNAP program, AKA “food stamps”, spends $80 billion annually but is run by the Department of Agriculture). It’s also seriously wrong that this unearned entitlement spending totals more than twice that spent on defending the US. But that’s precisely the case today.
It’s not the job of the Federal government to feed, clothe, house, or provide medical care for everyone in the USA. It’s also not the Federal government’s job to provide income for for everyone’s retirement. Those are all individual responsibilities. But to a large degree that’s exactly what the Federal government is doing today – and it’s not so slowly bankrupting the country.
Gee – thanks, FDR and LBJ. Thanks a lot.