Here is some isolated data from the just released 2015 Budget Outlook by the White House.
Once again I find myself staring at numbers that demonstrate the Federal Government has become more of an entity that writes checks ("Transfer Payments") to people and less of one that "does things".
Below you see blocks of decades and a high lighted portion that shows transfer payments as a percent of ALL Federal government outlays for that last year of the decade (it is NOT an average for the decade).
Less of the budget spent on transfers, more available for "fun stuff" like defense, roads, bridges, education, space program, etc ad infinitum...sort of.
In 1950 we could spend 68% of the budget on all those fun things. In 2014 we have only 30% to spend.
I am not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it IS a thing.
I think most people don't give this much consideration on either side of the political spectrum when debates about the Federal budget take place. Did I say "debates"? Oh, I meant shouting matches. My bad.
One observation. I do not know what happened in the 1950's that almost doubled private transfer payments (before dipping again in the 60's) but if I had to guess I would say it was a result of the GI Bill and the various benefits conferred on WWII vets.
Anyone else have any idea(s)???