A dip in the national deficit or even a balanced budget will never be possible until federal spending is brought under control. The government is clearly out-of-control with $2,007,358,200,000 in benefits and entitlements paid out in fiscal year 2013. That is more than half of all federal spending, according to the Treasury Department on Monday.
The data is mind-boggling. According to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service's Treasury Statement, and the statement for the most recent fiscal year, most of the benefits paid out, 69.7 percent went to non-means-tested programs. That translates to federal benefits to recipients who qualify regardless of their income.
The major spending points are Medicare, Social Security, railroad retirement, unemployment compensation, veterans' compensation, and workers' compensation. In 2013 alone, Americans received $1.399 trillion in benefits from these programs. Actual contributions were $1.252 trillion for Social Security and Medicare combined.
Means-tested programs have limitations applied according to income. That includes subsidized rental housing, food stamps, Federal Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, free and reduced lunch programs, Pell grants, Medicaid, etc. That total is a “mere” $608 billion.
Include defense, highways, public education, and government worker salaries, which total $3.454 trillion, and it amounts to benefits accounting for 58.1 percent of all spending.
Whether the politician is a Democrat or Republican, the present fiscal situation will destroy the very fabric of American society within the next decade. Will it be possible to bring the two political parties together long enough to save the country?
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