March 14, 2006

But Bush is starving/killing/maiming etc. people!

That's right! No matter what.

From USA Today: Federal aid programs expand at record rate.

A sweeping expansion of social programs since 2000 has sparked a record increase in the number of Americans receiving federal government benefits such as college aid, food stamps and health care.

A USA TODAY analysis of 25 major government programs found that enrollment increased an average of 17% in the programs from 2000 to 2005. The nation's population grew 5% during that time.

It was the largest five-year expansion of the federal safety net since the Great Society created programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s.

Spending on these social programs was $1.3 trillion in 2005, up an inflation-adjusted 22% since 2000 and accounting for more than half of federal spending. Enrollment growth was responsible for three-fourths of the spending increase, according to USA TODAY's analysis of federal enrollment and spending data. Higher benefits accounted for the rest.

Out of the five years measured, guess who was president for four? The guy who "could care less" about the less fortunate. Oh.

Posted by Hube at March 14, 2006 03:50 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

This is not good news. This is exactly the Big Government stuff Bartlett is talking about in his book. Bush gets no credit from the left for social welfare spending and annoys the right. It's a wonder he does it at all.

Posted by: Duffy at March 15, 2006 10:01 AM

Hey! How'd that trackback get through?? We're supposed to be "censoring" people!!!

;-)

Posted by: Hube at March 15, 2006 07:41 PM

First: I guess you missed the story last month on $39 billion in cuts to the health care of the elderly and poor, etc., while the inefficient and stunningly wasteful Homeland Security department was un-tinkered with.

Second: Did you really read the full article, and the charts that are linked to from it?

If the facts are all true, it does seem that Bush has done a few useful things as far as making forms easier, etc. Credit should be given where credit is due. However, there are painfully obvious explanations as to most of why the bottom line dollars are going -- and they have little to do with "compassion." I mean, gee, can you imagine why so much more is being spent on military benefits (a huge chunk of what that article is talking about) since 2001, as opposed to before it?

And, say, when there are more and more poor people (the rate is up since 2000) we have to spend more to deal with their problems.

Posted by: dan at March 15, 2006 07:52 PM

First: I guess you missed the story last month on $39 billion in cuts to the health care of the elderly and poor, etc., while the inefficient and stunningly wasteful Homeland Security department and the defense budget went un-tinkered with.

Second: Did you read the full article, and the charts that are linked to from it? If the facts are all true, it does seem that Bush has done a few useful things as far as making forms easier, etc. Credit should be given where credit is due. However, there are painfully obvious explanations as to most of why the bottom line dollars are going -- and they have little to do with "compassion." I mean, gee, can you imagine why so much more is being spent on military benefits (a huge chunk of what that article is talking about) since 2001, as opposed to before it?

And, say, when there are more and more poor people (the rate is up since 2000) we have to spend more to deal with their problems.

Posted by: dan at March 15, 2006 07:53 PM

um, sorry. those two are mostly the same, but i fouled up the link and hit "post" a bit too soon!

Posted by: dan at March 15, 2006 07:54 PM

Sure I read the article, dan. Did you? How 'bout this: Spending on these social programs was $1.3 trillion in 2005, up an inflation-adjusted 22% since 2000. Later in the article, the liberal mouthpiece offers the growth in the number of people in many programs is due to a rise in the poverty rate from 11.3% in 2000 to 12.7% in 2004. Now I know the #s represent different facets of growth, but ...! And $39 billion (from your article) out of ... $1.3 trillion?? Oh no! My GOD!

Look, I'm offering this from the perspective that this growth is unacceptable, especially for what is supposed to be a "conservative" president. And as one who is against the war, not just for the geopolitical reasons, but for the enormous cost, as well. But, even as you say, "Credit should be given where credit is due." (Despite your "a huge chunk" comment, which is by no means the "huge" in the article or even the charts. I mean, a 7.3% increase vs. ... 33% increase in Pell Grants?? Come on!) We're always told "conservatives are starving people, killing people, don't care about people, yada yada yada," all the while offering the clamor for more and more $$. Well, the $$ are there -- they've increased vastly -- which just goes to show you, just like the NCLB law, no good deed goes unpunished, much as Duffy said above.

Are you aware how much the Left and the teachers unions are screaming about NCLB, dan? (Do you how much has federal ed. spending increased, BTW?) Did you know just how much NCLB has focused attention on the achievement of those who need it most -- the poor and minorities mostly? Even the most stalwart Bush-hating teachers will admit that off the record, trust me.

Posted by: Hube at March 15, 2006 08:14 PM

No sweat about the extra post, dan. And glad the link worked -- and from a liberal, too, which just further goes to show that we don't .... ah, never mind. ;-)

Posted by: Hube at March 15, 2006 08:16 PM

Points well taken.

I don't know the NCLB Act particularly well. And from the little I know, it does in fact seem like it's targeting the right people. What I have heard on the negative side is that it's underfunded and poorly structured/organized.

Look, I'm offering this from the perspective that this growth is unacceptable, especially for what is supposed to be a "conservative" president.

And you, it seems, are indeed looking for consistent cost-efficiency across the board. But most prominent right-wing voices in America are not. The bottom line for me on this issue is that conservatives consistently find "waste" in all manner of social programs. Yet, magically, there is no waste, inefficiency, or excess bureaucracy when it comes to defense spending. The government, which can't be trusted to do much of anything in these people's minds -- can do no wrong in that area.

I, for one, believe very strongly in continuously reforming welfare and keeping a damn close eye out for abuse. But when it comes down to it, expanding Medicaid (looking at the chart a second time, it seems that's the bulk of it) is a hell of a lot better idea than giving heaping piles of cash to Montana so they're not hit by terrorists.. Or, you know, starting a war that's not making any of us even a tiny bit safer.

Posted by: dan at March 15, 2006 09:43 PM

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