George H. Blackford, Ph.D.

 Economist at Large

 Email: george(at)


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.

Itís what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Attributed to Mark Twain (among others)



Economic Papers
Political Essays



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Understanding The Federal Budget

Chapter 4: Welfare, Tax Expenditures, and Redistribution*


This book is available in Kindle and paperback format at for a nominal contribution to this website.

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Chapter 4: Welfare, Tax Expenditures, and Redistribution examines the welfare component of our federal social-insurance system. Federal expenditures on each of the major welfare programs are plotted from 1940 through 2013, and the expenditures on each federal welfare program in 2013 are detailed along with the percent of GDP and of the federal budget that each program represented in that year. The increases in welfare expenditures that have occurred since the 1960s are seen to have been dominated by increases in Medicaid and also in the refundable tax credits that were instituted to encourage welfare recipients to work.  

See: Understanding The Federal Budget: (2013) (2014) at or click here for a preview.

*This chapter was formally Chapter 14 in Where Did All The Money Go?