Robert Rector, Katherine Bradley and Rachel Sheffield, Heritage Foundation Special Report #67
Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs.
As this report shows, means-tested welfare or aid to poor and low-income persons is now the third most expensive government function. Its cost ranks below support for the elderly through Social Security and Medicare and below government expenditures on education, but above spending on national defense. Prior to the current reces sion, one dollar in seven in total federal, state, and local government spending went to means-tested welfare.
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Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare: Uncovering the Full Cost of Means-Tested Welfare or Aid to the Poor