A report from the Congressional Research Service released today finds that welfare spending is now the largest federal budget item. Presently, the federal government spends $745.84 billion to support 83 of these welfare programs.

The costs are astronomically high--and they are likely only to continue to rise.

According to the data from the Congressional Research Services, over the next 10 years, the federal government will spend $8.295 trillion to separate the ten costliest programs. (This does not even take into account the 73 other welfare programs!)

Here's a chart from the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee that shows the top most expensive programs are likely to grow (in terms of cost):

And here's a breakdown of the programs, and how much they'll cost over the next ten years, according to government projections:

If one were to try to account for projected spending of all welfare programs combined, the cost would be about $12.7 trillion. "According to the President’s budget plans for fiscal year 2013, means-tested welfare will not decline as the recession ends, but will continue to grow rapidly for the next decade. Overall, President Obama plans to spend $12.7 trillion on means-tested welfare over the next decade," the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector writes.

Rector adds: “If converted to cash, means-tested welfare spending is more than sufficient to bring the income of every lower-income American to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, roughly $44,000 per year for a family of four. (This calculation combines potential welfare aid with non-welfare income currently received by the poor.)”

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