America spends as much on education (more than $12,000 per child times more than 50 million students) as it does the military, $610 billion a year and falling. That includes local and state spending on schools -- and excludes higher education.
Its spending on welfare programs for the cash poor now tops $742 billion, according to the General Accounting Office. The total does not counting local and state aid, which easily pushes the total beyond the trillion-dollar mark.
With roughly a sixth of the U.S. population living in poverty and many more struggling to stay out of it, the federal social safety net has evolved in recent years into an extraordinarily costly and wide-ranging assortment of spending and tax measures.
A new study by the Government Accountability Office provides a detailed inventory of federal welfare and social service programs identified 82 federal programs and assorted tax expenditures totaling $742 billion in fiscal 2013, the latest data available. An estimated 106 million people living in the U.S. – or about a third of the overall population – received benefits the previous year from at least one of eight programs for low income and very poor families that came in for special review by the GAO. Some of these programs are available to illegal immigrants.Handouts now are a trillion-dollar-a-year industry. This is unsustainable.