Where the (Federal) Money Goes

| February 26, 2013

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.

Category: Economy, Society

Comments (15)

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  1. LanceCooley says:

    Disgusting…the federal gubmint brings a whole new meaning to “dependapotamus,” viz. a hideously fat, twisted, life-sucking drain on all near them affiliated with them. I think that sums up the gubmint quite nicely.

  2. UpNorth says:

    Hondo, the USDA has an Office of the Assistance Secretary for Civil Rights, an Office of the Chief economist, an Office of the Chief Financial Officer, an Office of the Chief Information Officer, and an Office of Congressional Relations. No waste of money there./sarc

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    There are food pantries all over the country. The Society of St. Andrew has gleaning weekends in many states, picking up produce that the truck farms didn’t or couldn’t harvest, and has food pantries in 850 cities nationwide. The Northern Illinois Food Bank serves 17 counties. Almost every church has a food pantry. There was a shopping ‘contest’ for the benefit of the food pantries over the weekend. The participants were filling carts that went to the food pantries.

    No one is ever turned away. People are not given junk, they are given real food. And I see the food pantry stocking truck in my area every now and then.

    So why the hell is such a colossal amount of money — $80 BILLION? — necessary and how much fraud is being committed by recipients? (I think we had this discussion before, just want a refresher. And I’m just trying to understand.)

  4. PintoNag says:

    @3 Most of DHHS money goes for medicine and medical treatment and supplies.

    Some of the biggest fraud cases recently were overseas “PO Box” scams. The money didn’t even go to real providers, but clever thieves.

    DHHS does have auditors, but not enough to cover all the territory they need to cover to stop the fraud/theft.

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I see that illegals are being released to step up the pressure by endangering public safety. Cute.

  6. Hondo says:

    PintoNag: I think you and Ex-PH2 are discussing completely different things. HHS runs medical and housing assistance programs, plus some others. However, USDA runs the SNAP (AKA “food stamp”) program. Don’t know if they still run a commodity “giveaway” program like they did in the 1960s and 1970s or not, but I’d guess so. Such giveaway programs never seem to die.

    Ex-PH2: I think this is the article you were looking for:


  7. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “And I’m just trying to understand.” When you figure it out,Ex-PH2, please let me know because I have been perplexed about such things for many years. Unless by choice, people do not starve in this country, or go without medical treatment, or shelter.

  8. OWB says:

    Smoke and mirrors. It’s all theatre of the absurd. This generation of the political elite has now secured theirs, so why should they care about anything else – like the security of this once great land?


  9. Bruce says:

    Its always been the unelected departments in the government
    that have come up with the most vile experiments on the
    American people without our permission. The Tuskegee syphilis experiment was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama by the U.S. Public Health Service. Experiments by depts of defense,Army,
    Navy, CIA, all did serect experiments on the American people
    all these Dept. need more over site and way less money.

  10. CC Senor says:

    Ever notice reports of the low average score of Congress on civics tests? Too many members of congress don’t seem to have a real understanding of the Constitution and probably confused the preamble to read promote the common defense and provide for the general welfare.

  11. Joe Williams says:

    No, the poeple learned they are able to vote themselves free money and services at the same time polticos. This is why we need term limits on Congress.

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    @7 – AirCav, I think what I see is a lack of self-reliance that was a characteristic of my parents’ generation and those preceding them.

    I watched a Herzog documentary “The Happy People – A Year in the Taiga” a few days ago. The people of the village of Baktah in Siberia, in the taiga, are completely self-reliant and proud of it. They’ve been there since the 1970s. They make what they need. They earn money for things like fuel oil and rifles/ammos by trapping sable. They have no laws, no rules (except those of common sense), no government, no bureaucracy, no radios, no phones. It’s worth an hour and a half of your time to watch.

    And I was struck by their lack of interest in all the modern claptrap that people are addicted to, and the contrast. They are happier than most people I know. It’s like seeing people living on another planet.

    Self-sufficiency is not a lost art just yet. This nonsense that hits us with a massive tax burden with no real return is like an addict on a self-destruct binge.

  13. DLM says:

    Get rid of all that free assistance. Make all of them work. I know a millionaire I work with who collects SS money because he/she has a handicapped child.

  14. PintoNag says:

    @13 DLM, the SS money would be for the child, not the millionaire parent. They establish them in the system for many reasons, but one scenario is this: if something happens to the parent, the child is provided for already; no one has to wait for the system to play catch up to take care of the child.

  15. AndyFMF says:

    I noticed that this was slipped in….I’m assuming in case someone is not able to reference chart 4.

    Chart 4 shows that the largest contributors to the Government’s net cost in FY 2011, as is
    the case in most years, include the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and
    Defense (DoD) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

    It should have been written with DoD and SSA flip-flopped as the DoD is 20% compared to the SSA at 21%.