How to Get Welfare Spending Under Control

Prior to the recession, one dollar in seven in total federal, state, and local government spending went to means-tested welfare. For every $1 spent on Social Security and Medicare, government spends 76 cents on assistance to the poor or means-tested welfare. President Obama has increased welfare spending by one-third since entering office. President Obama’s budget plan is unsustainable. It is crucial that Congress make it a priority to get welfare spending under control. To accomplish this, welfare spending should be returned to pre-recession levels once the economy recovers. Congress can do this by establishing a cap on future welfare spending, adjusted for inflation. Going forward, aggregate federal welfare spending should increase no faster than the rate of inflation. Over the next decade, this cap would save taxpayers $2.7 trillion.

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