HOW LIBERAL JOURNALISTS CREATE THE NARRATIVE TO BRAINWASH IDIOTS
JournoList (sometimes referred to as the J-List) was a private Google Groups forum for discussing politics and the news media with 400 "left-leaning" journalists, academics and others. Ezra Klein created the online forum in February 2007 while blogging at The American Prospect and shut it down on June 25, 2010 amid wider public exposure. LINK
Whenever you see a pie graph that is meant to represent all government spending. You will probably see a graph like the one at US Government Spending or the one at Wikipedia which shows that “Welfare” spending is 12% of the federal budget. The problem with that is that the government has no spending category called “Welfare”. Therefore, what somebody calls “Welfare” is somewhat subjective and undefinable.
The Office of Management and Budget(OMB) does have a spending category called “Income Security”. The two pie graphs I linked to in the introduction just take that entire category and divides it by total spending to get 12%. In 2009 accounts categorized as “income security” accounted for 533$ billion in spending. According to the government printing offices’ historical tables, table 3.2: Oulays by Function and Subfunction, that spending is broken down into 6 distinct subfunctions.
The 3 remaining subfunctions cost a combined 284$ billion dollars, but even that doesn’t tell the whole story. Over the last week I’ve taken a more detailed look at each of these subfunctions to get an idea of how that money is spent. What I found was that even in the remaining subfunctions,Food and Nutrition, Housing Assistance, and Other that not all of that spending was spent on the poor.
When I analyzed the “Other” income security subfunction, I graphed how that money was spent by categorizing that spending into 4 different categories:
(Click chart for Larger Image. See The Numbers for this Chart)
As you can see the vast majority of the money spent in the “Income Security” function of the government is spent on programs not directed at the poor or programs where the income must be earned. If you want to know how I categorized everything, here’s how I did it:
If you total up the direct and non-direct spending categories which are all the programs that are meant to help the poor, you will see that the federal government only spent 191$ billion on “welfare” for the poor. That would be 5.5% of the unified budget. I counted off-budget programs since the pie graphs in the beginning counted social security and other “off-budget” accounts. If you only want to go with on-budget expenditures it’s 6.4%, still a far cry from the 12% that most internet graphs will show you. Just for fun I decided to graph those numbers. Feel free to copy these graphs to show anyone who thinks we actually spend 12% of the federal budget helping the poor.
(Click charts for Larger Images.)
Source for all numbers is the Public Budget Database LINK
JournoList (sometimes referred to as the J-List) was a private Google Groups forum for discussing politics and the news media with 400 "left-leaning" journalists, academics and others. Ezra Klein created the online forum in February 2007 while blogging at The American Prospect and shut it down on June 25, 2010 amid wider public exposure. Right-leaning journalists later pointed out various off-color statements made by members of the list denigrating conservatives, as well as a seeming conspiracy to prop up then Presidential candidate Barack Obama.