Obama’s Welfare Cost More than Iraq and Afghanistan Wars Combined

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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America isn’t a warmonger. It’s a welfare-state monger.

Liberals like to talk about how much money we could spend on welfare if we weren’t fighting all those wars. The good news is we’re already spending more on welfare than war.

Average estimates of the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars come out at under 4 trillion dollars. The 2011 Costs of War estimate put it at under 3 trillion dollars.

Meanwhile the cost of the welfare state easily tops that.

New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last 5 years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.

“We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office. During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person’s income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient.”

“The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects over that time.”

But what’s a few trillion dollars here and there.

Sure the National Debt has hit 17 trillion dollars. That’s our entire economy. But when we pass 20 trillion, then the fireworks will really begin. The McConnell rule will protect Republicans from outraged constituents while letting Obama raise the debt ceiling until; America is Detroit.

The War on Poverty will never be won. But the American economy will be soundly defeated. Capitalism will be crushed and we can all enjoy living in just another bankrupt Socialist state.

U.S. Has Spent $3.7 Trillion On Welfare Over Past 5 Years.preview

  • Ted

    “Yes, yes we know, but so what.

    Obama spent more for a good cause, for the needy.

    War is a waste.” – so much for channeling an old lefty troll.

    Besides how are you going to compare the word as is (when there is a war) to how it could have been if you did nothing to discourage rogue regimes?

    How do you add up the economic toll of high seas piracy, terrorism, espionage, and alliances that prevent you from solving problems in other areas?

    Alliances matter. China without North Korea is easier to contain. they would be more agreeable to not hacking us, etc.

    Russia without Iran would not support Assad to the hilt. So allianaces matter. If Assad was not supported maybe we could have got peaceful regime change without blood shed and withotu the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Waeda taking over.

    A person could make an educated guess. We saw how much the weeks after 911 cost the economy. So we could extrapolate from that. We can measure the cost of piracy by looking at the cost of admiralty insurance. if we did that the left would dispute the numbers and as a last result say it is all the result of the imperialism for the last 400 years.

  • UCSPanther

    It’s easy to stay in power when you hand out entitlements like complimentary pens, but what happens when you run out of entitlements.

    The welfare state mongers will, ironically, be the death of their own bloated behemoth…

    • richard anderson

      You guys don’t know what your talking about. Congress spends the money. Not the president. Tell your republican congress to stop the spending on these programs. And remember the money goes back into the economy.

      • Evan Dickinson

        The money was in the economy to start with. The only difference is that it ends up in the hands of people who didn’t earn it, incentivizing them to stop trying to earn it and disincentivizing people to earn it. All it does is hurt the economy.

        Republican’s did not vote to pass Obamacare. They opposed it. It is a new massive transfer of wealth. They on the other hand have been fighting to lower the debt which is something they get demonized for. What planet are you living on?

        • Jay

          We’re not on a gold standard, all money was spent into existence by the government. If you have money in your wallet its because the government spent it and didn’t tax it. You could say this is not a good system but it is the system we actually have.

          • Evan Dickinson

            No, the money you have represents your value produced if you earn it. It doesn’t matter what convoluted system produced the method of storing that value.

          • qcubed

            Don’t know a whole lot about the monetary system, do you my friend?

        • CD

          We are living on this planet with a bunch of self righteous morons. The congress did vote for Obamacare after they ravaged the original bill to the point it’s toothless. Good job Republicans. Conservatives are just aggravated they aren’t getting those huge contributions from the Insurance companies any longer…oh well…. I don’t know why I’m wasting my time and breath. You guys are terminally thick.

        • Mathmn

          Are you diseinsentivized “sic”??? If so then you’re lazy and unmotivated.

  • Angermanagement

    How can Congress allow this to happen? They need to stop this Administration.

  • USARetired

    Guaranteed Dumocrat votes!

  • thatsitivehadenough

    No wonder he was reelected.

  • Akashara

    Hey, those on the welfare rolls can vote, so he’ll keep pouring money into a system that allows people to receive a check, food stamps, free medical and all those other perks like cell phones and they never have to work a day in their lives. We work so they don’t have to. Hey, that’s a good slogan.

    • qcubed

      Phones were Reagan’s thing, moron.

  • Lookatme

    Someone knows the page where I can find this information?

  • v

    All I can say is that those of us who plan an exit strategy from the ravages that will be caused by this communist president (small p for a reason, the Presidency under this administration has been diminished and disrespected) will be fine and those who will suffer are those who rely solely on government for sustenance and when it becomes unsustainable, they will perish and revolt against the very government which provided them with all the free government goodies. History is full of examples.

    • richard anderson

      Does that include veterans? Does that include social security which we paid for>? Right wing nutcase….

    • qcubed

      You are a paranoid git.

  • daisy laag

    That’s the Dems’ election strategy: instead of jobs they offer welfare benefits and encourage government dependency to create a coalition of beholden voters!

    • daisy laag

      Dems’ next target to expand their future voter base: a path to citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally. Imagine an 11-million electoral advantage!

  • A1ACharles

    Impossible since we spend over trillion a year on defense of our borders and dont forget the cost of the F-35 which is not included in defense costs nor is the cost of deploying the 5th Fleet counted.
    I suspect the data here is skewed.

  • richard anderson

    This is a lie. Social security is not welfare. Americans payed for it. When we provide food stamps or some welfare the money goes back into our economy. When we bomb and kill in the middle east the money is gone but for a few contractors.

    • qcubed

      It’s the lame GOP meme, which their ignorant voting base laps up time and time again. It’s sad.

  • basefeed

    the wars have cost $6 trillion and will cost us for decades to come. both are small beans compared to the over $29 trillion given to large financial institutions.

  • Cody Sprague

    Hate to say it to you but a lot of socialist countries are doing very well right now with free schooling, free healthcare, etc. and their people rate as some of the most satisfied in the world. Compare that to the US, and what system do you think is the true enemy? capitalism.

  • Chris

    Biggest pile of bullshit I have EVER heard lol… Anybody who thinks war is important and maintained should be shot….

  • qcubed

    The difference here is, for you small minded bagtypes, that these so called ‘entitlements’ are being spent here at home, stimulating the economy and keeping people working. The cost keeps people alive, quite UNLIKE the money wasted on needless conflicts abroad.

    Keep trying, someday you may understand the difference.

    • Anti

      These entitlements are being borrowed. So, look at the extremes: Let’s say everyone was on welfare. We’d have no taxes coming in to take care of it. Instead, we’d have to borrow the money. Actually, we’re doing that anyway. Look at the other extreme where no one is on welfare. We could actually get away with not having to borrow that money. Which extreme is it better to be closer to?

      Winston Churchill once said that a nation that thinks it can tax itself into prosperity, is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.

  • CD

    Total swill. There is no way the welfare costs are more than the war. Fight with real data. And BTW the welfare costs have not increased over the Bush administration. I hope your readers are checking your “facts”.