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The Ballooning Welfare State

As Medicaid, unemployment, and food stamp participants increase, so does the price tag: $525 billion.

According to USA Today, government anti-poverty programs serve a record one in six Americans, and that number is expected to rise as programs increase.

For example, the article reports that more than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, more than 40 million receive food stamps, close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, and more than 4.4 million remain on welfare. All programs have seen increases in participants during the recession, which means increased costs:

As caseloads for all the programs have soared, so have costs. The federal price tag for Medicaid has jumped 36% in two years, to $273 billion. Jobless benefits have soared from $43 billion to $160 billion. The food stamps program has risen 80%, to $70 billion. Welfare is up 24%, to $22 billion. Taken together, they cost more than Medicare.
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