( “Means testing” , for those of you who spent more time sleeping off a nice pre-class smoke during your economics classes than you did actually learning how the world works, is the process by which the Government determines whether or not an individual or a family is eligible for Government assistance.)
The figure, brought to us by Republican Senators on the Senate Budgetary Committee and their deep desire to make President Obama look as bad as possible during his stalling re-election bid, is the highest tab paid for by the American government in 2011 and just about the same as the amount that our nation is blowing it’s budget by every year since roughly 2007 (note: that’s the same year that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took control of the spending and budgeting branch of the Government… ) .
According to The Daily Caller:
The total sum taxpayers spent on federal welfare programs was derived from a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on federal welfare spending — which topped out at $745.84 billion for fiscal year 2011 — combined with an analysis from the Republican Senate Budget Committee staff of state spending on federal welfare programs (based on “The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance”), which reached $282.7 billion in fiscal year 2011.
The data excludes spending on Social Security, Medicare, means-tested health care for veterans without service-connected disabilities, and the means-tested veterans pension program.
$1.03 TRILLION (roughly a third of the US budget and almost half of the $2.4+ trillion the US Government raked in in tax revenue in 2011) spent on means tested welfare in 2011…
$15+ TRILLION spent on welfare since the War on Poverty started in the 1964
And no change in the percentage of poverty in the United States (currently around 15%).
This news only solidifies something I have been feeling more and more during this long Presidential campaign (and thus, focus on the failures of the current Administration and Government in general)…
It upsets me how the political conversation has never gotten to the root of the issue. We hear one guy caterwauling about the needs of the wealthy to "pay their fair share" while the other complains about stifling taxes killing economic growth and nibbles on the outer edges of federal waste (but seems content to limit that scalpel to medical procedures and pet projects).
But we never talk about the actual issue... the disgusting waste of our wealth that those really expensive suits in Washington seem all too eager to keep doing.
And at some point it can’t just be because of bleeding hearts and good intentions…
See, my wife makes me watch Intervention with her weekly… A show whose whole premise is that the good intentions and desire to help at some point becomes too financially burdensome and personally destructive (to both the person receiving the charity and the person dispensing it)… At some point even the best intended ideas fail terribly short of their target and a new idea has to be forged… Again, something neither party seems willing to be really discussing with the American people (Republicans claim to be willing to have such talks but what they mean by that is they are willing to spend less on the very same inefficient and failing programs their Democratic counterparts insist are the solution).
There has to be a real reason….
And that reason has to be control.