Engorged Entitlements

Entitlement spending has taken up more and more of the Federal budget since 1967, Bankrupting America (BA) reports. Using data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), BA argues:

For far too long politicians have considered entitlement spending to be the third-rail of politics: touch it, and your future in politics is off the tracks. With a towering debt of nearly $16 trillion, Americans are ready for a fact-based conversation about the biggest drivers of federal spending. The facts speak for themselves: 10,000 baby-boomers are retiring every day and healthcare costs are continuing to rise.

Washington must work together to create a plan that honors the promise to our seniors and the poor who most need these benefits, while ensuring that the programs have the funding to be there for future generations.

The report cited total yearly federal spending, which rose from $157 billion in 1967 to $1.253 trillion in 1990 and $3.603 trillion in 2011. Of that total expenditure, Medicare rose from 2% to 8% to 13%, Social Security rose from 14% to 20%, and Medicaid rose from 1% to 3% to 8%.

In 1967, all three programs took up 16% of federal spending. By 1990, that rose to 31%, and in 2011 it hit 41%.

This report confirms what Nicholas Eberstadt, a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute, presented in a report last week—that entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid experienced the largest growth in government spending in the last 50 years.

The OMB numbers can be accessed here.