Will the “Something for Nothing” programs trump the “Something for Something” programs?
If you work you must pay payroll taxes. By doing so you are entitled to Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment insurance. You are entitled to them but you don’t earn anything until you pay into them. It’s “something for something.” Whether you work or not you are entitled to Welfare Programs. Everyone is entitled to them but you only get benefits if you have low-income or no income. You don’t have to contribute anything or pay taxes to get them – it’s “something for nothing”.
In 2011 we paid out $1.4 billion for “something for something” - 36% of the federal budget. But those programs also brought in $.9 billion in payroll taxes. That is a shortfall of $.5 billion and must garner our attention to right our fiscal ship. Such is the national debate.
In 2011 we paid out $.6 billion for Welfare Programs including Medicaid with no offsetting revenue. That equals 17% of the federal budget. “Something for nothing” is a bigger contributor to our national deficit than “something for something.” Such is NOT the national debate.
We need to fix them both, no doubt. But if push comes to shove which do you think should have the highest priority? Based on the current debate if we cut back anything it looks like it will be “something for something”. “Something for nothing” just seems to slide by. Odd isn’t it?
For more information see the new pages on Entitlement Programs, Entitlement Spending and Welfare Budget.