February 19, 2011

WHAT DOES GOVERNMENT DO? Mostly, write checks to beneficiaries.

The biggest single thing the federal government does these days is … cut checks.

Lots and lots and lots and lots of checks that go to individual citizens — $2.3 trillion worth last year alone.

In fact, according to a table buried deep inside the little-noticed Historical Tables volume of the White House’s 2012 budget, these “direct payments to individuals” accounted for more than two-thirds of federal spending in 2010. That’s a post-war high. And that share has been steadily climbing. Payments to individuals accounted for 2.4 percent of all federal spending in 1945. By 1980 it has risen to 47 percent, and in 1992 it crossed the 50 percent mark.

I’d be happy to cut this back to 1945 levels. . . .

Comments are closed.
InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.