Myth: We can’t afford to keep spending this much on entitlements. The right frequently takes the position that we cannot afford to continue even current levels of spending, let alone increase spending, on our safety net. Much hay is made of the idea that we are reaching a “tipping point” where the “takers” will outnumber the “makers” and our nation will fall into ruin.
- Once you exclude the elderly, blind and serious disabled, only 5% of the federal budget goes to nonworking people in poverty.
- 91% of entitlement spending goes to the elderly.
- Of the 9% of entitlement spending that goes to the non-elderly, only 2% goes to things other than medical care, such as food stamps and TANF.
- 87% of food stamp recipients either currently work or have had a job within a year of receiving food stamps.
- The U.S. spends less of its GDP on the safety net than nearly any other developed country, and the U.S. has a lot more poverty than other developed countries as a result.
- About half of welfare recipients leave the welfare system within one year and 90% leave the system within five years.
- 3/4 of the people receiving welfare are children.
- While more people are on food stamps (SNAP) only one million adults receive actual welfare (TANF). That is less than 1/3 of one percent of the population.