Transfer Payments In America
From Slate Articles
January 7, 2013 - 12:25pm
Over the weekend I tweeted some links on transfer payments in America, but people responded sensibly that one should separate retirement programs from the rest of the American welfare state when looking at this. And so I did.
The chart needs a little bit of unpacking. The blue line is Social Security and Medicare. The green line represents FRED's "government social benefits to persons" minus Social Security minus Medicare. In other words, it's Medicaid, SNAP, Unemployment Insurance, and all the other social benefits that aren't earmarked for the elderly. I think that what you see in this green line explains a lot of why American politics is so emotionally complicated. For several years now, spending on transfer payments has been basically flat in nominal terms meaning that it's falling on a real per capita basis. On the other hand, it really does look like Nancy Pelosi and Bar...
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