The Corner

“Growth Historic in Federal Aid Rolls”

From the lead story in today’s USA Today:

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.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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