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First of all there is another chart slightly below that one which treats the budget as you suggest.

Secondly, there is a slight of hand being perpetrated that they are trying to emphasize. Things like Social Security and Medicare are not government programs. They are mandatory insurance programs that the government administers. They were added to the budget during the Viet Nam war so LBJ could disguise the true size of the military spending.

The government acts as a collection and dispersal agent for these funds. The funds are collected for a segregated purpose and spent for the same purpose when needed. Social security and medicare could be spun off into a government owned corporation like the post office and then it would be obvious that the money is not part of the "budget".

Your remarks just show how successful the policy of obscuring the true uses of federal funds has been.

And as the original posting shows distructive spending gets counted just the same as social programs in the "GDP".


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by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Oct 31st, 2005 at 10:41:37 AM EST
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