Quick, take a guess as to which department of the federal government is spending $100 million a month, the first department to do so. If you answered the Department of Defense, you’re dead wrong. It’s the Department of Health and Human Services, which is on track to spend $1.23 trillion this fiscal year, or more than one-quarter of the entire US federal budget. That’s about 10% more than it spent last fiscal year, and that sum will likely only increase in the future.
If you break that sum down even further, it works out to $3,800 per year for every man, woman, and child in this country. Most of that money is spent on two major federal welfare programs, Medicare and Medicaid. And with the US population continuing to age, fewer workers supporting more retirees, and continually growing healthcare costs in the future, the amount that the government will be spending on Medicare and Medicaid will likely continue to skyrocket. And if that’s with Republicans supposedly in control of the budget, just imagine how bad it will get once Democrats take full control of the reins of government.
Of course, that isn’t the only major area of government expenditure either. The Department of Defense will spend over $650 billion this year, or nearly the amount of money the government spent bailing out the banking system in 2008. Only Social Security rivals HHS in terms of spending so far, with over $1 trillion set to be expended this fiscal year. With Social Security taxes no longer sufficient to cover Social Security payments, that sum may see a nasty cut in about 15 years.
And don’t forget the interest due on the national debt. Last year saw a record $523 billion spent just on interest on the national debt, a record that demolished the previous record by 14%. Through the first nine months of this fiscal year the government has already spent nearly $457 billion on interest. That puts the government on track to spend over $600 billion this year just on interest. And if interest rates continue to increase in the future, that sum will only increase.
No matter which way you slice it, the federal government’s spending makes a drunken sailor blush. Congress isn’t serious about slowing down the rate of spending growth either, so when will voters say enough is enough and force Congress to keep from plundering hard-working taxpayers to fund this leviathan?