Federal welfare spending will skyrocket 80 percent over the next decade, according to new analysis by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. Here's a chart, provided by the committee, detailing the growth in spending:
Currently, 95% of spending on means-tested poverty assistance falls into four categories: cash assistance, health assistance, housing assistance, and social and family services. Welfare spending has increased on a year-over-year basis regardless of whether the economy has improved or unemployment has declined, and is projected to continue this dramatic rise indefinitely. Spending on these poverty programs will rise approximately 80% from FY2013-FY2022, representing a total cost of $11 trillion – roughly one quarter of cumulative federal spending. Slowing the growth rate from 80% to a still massive 60% would thus result, according to standard congressional budget accounting, in a $1 trillion savings over ten years.
Part of the large increase in welfare spending is driven by a series of controversial recruitment methods that include aggressive outreach to those who say they do not need financial assistance. Recruitment workers are even instructed on how to “overcome the word ‘no’” when individuals resist enrollment. The USDA and Department of Homeland Security also have promotions to increase the number of immigrants on welfare despite legal prohibitions on welfare use among those seeking admittance into the United States.
"We must return to the moral principles of the 1996 reform and the idea that, over time, unwise welfare programs damage not only the Treasury but the recipient. Normal support structures like family, church and community are replaced by federal bureaucracy while the incentive to find work is reduced. President Obama recently said that ‘every dollar we budget, every decision we make has to be an expression of who we wish to be as a nation, our values.’ It is through that prism that we should address the need to reform our welfare programs, ensure resources are targeted to those in genuine need, and help more people transition from dependence to independence."