Today in President Obama’s press conference he asked “how are we going to make sure that we’re reducing our deficit sensibly?” How, he went on to say, is through basic research. The Heritage Foundation has done the research.
The Center for Data Analysis Research Fellow Dr. David Muhlhausen took a look at 21 social programs your federal dollars support, including: Early Head Start, Head Start, numerous job-training programs, and many other social programs. Even the Government Accountability Office has concluded that these programs are ineffective but Congress continues to spend our federal dollars on these social programs.
Spending on social programs has far outpaced population growth. In 1962, the total population of the United States was 186,537,737 and social program spending was $125.67 per capita in 2010 dollars. In 2011, the nation grew to 311,591,917 people—at an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent. Also in 2011, the social spending figure grew to $1,421.02 per capita—an annual growth rate of 5.1. While the total population of the US won’t double for 91 years, the annual growth of social program spending per capita doubles every 19 years.
Given the fiscal crises the federal government is facing its time for deep budget cuts to federal social programs. Dr. Muhlhausen explains why and how in his new book, “Do Federal Social Programs Work?” .