Obama has said on multiple occasions he believes in wealth redistribution, though anyone who pays attention to his policies doesn’t be need to be told that.
We’ve tried socialism-lite with Barack Obama, and after seven years of that disaster a complete socialist is a serious contender to be the Democrat nominee. I doubt he’d want to admit it, but if Bernie wants to make us a socialist country, Obama’s already done a lot of the legwork for him.
The table shows how much money the federal government spends on what budget officials describe as “payments to individuals.” Obama’s budget puts the figure for next year at a mind-boggling $2.9 trillion out of a $4.1 trillion budget.
In other words, more than 70% of federal spending amounts to taking money from one set of pockets, and depositing it in another.
And this figure is rising fast. Payments to individuals accounted for 60% of the budget when Obama took office, and less than 50% as recently as 1991.
Surprisingly little of this money, however, helps the poor. Housing assistance, food stamps, welfare programs, and Medicaid comprise just 25% of all the payments to individuals.
The rest goes to middle class programs like Social Security, student aid, Medicare benefits, federal employee pensions and the like.
Among the fastest growing spending categories under Obama are Medicaid, which climbed 91% since he took office, food stamps and other nutrition programs (up 78%), Social Security (up 61%), and student aid, which shot up 55%.
ObamaCare added an entirely new category with its health insurance subsidies, which will cost taxpayers nearly $39 billion this year, and climb to $112.4 billion in just five years.
The problem is that with 70% of the budget composed of vast money transfer programs, cutting federal spending becomes increasingly difficult. If you want to make a meaningful dent in the size of the government, you’ll almost certainly have to cut the size of some of these individual government checks.
To paraphrase Reagan, Bernie may think socialism is the answer to our problems, but socialism IS the problem.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]