How agencies claim their spending is beneficial — the “multiplier” effect (USDA quotes): “SNAP [Food Stamps] brings Federal dollars into communities in the form of benefits … redeemed by SNAP participants at local stores. These benefits ripple throughout the economies of the community, State, and Nation. For example: Every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates a total of $9.20 in community spending. Every additional dollar's worth of SNAP benefits generates 17 to 47 cents of new spending on food. On average, $1 billion of retail food demand by SNAP recipients generates 3,300 farm jobs. If the … participation rate rose 5 percentage points, 1.9 million more low-income people would have an additional $1.3 billion in benefits per year to use to purchase healthy food and $2.5 billion total in new economic activity would be generated nationwide.”
If price and quantity demand are not tied together— people will demand a lot.
Americans Love to Go to the Doctor— Especially When Someone Else Pays
Governments Do Not Use Accurate Accounting So Many Looming Liabilities Are Undercounted
The U.S. Labor Market Looks More European Than Ever
Work is hard to find. Government benefits are not.
My Guess SS will not incur major changes; it can scrape by with a little fiddling. Medicare (and other health entitlements) are the biggest problem; politicians are loathe to touch them—old folks vote and the number is rising fast. So federal debt will keep rising, not as fast. Like Japan, we can take on more debt if inflation stays low and people work; the horror is put off for years. If we become more European—more benefits, more state planning with big companies industry, we will never have good growth rates. Competition is relative—you just have to beat the other guy, not be the best.