Median- Thank you for your smart and thoughtful 2 part response. Please forgive me if I nitpick a little with regards to the one small issue contained within your posts that was inaccurate.
And again, I apologize for going off topic.
Btw, whether or not welfare is caused by single parents has nothing to do with disbelief in your deity. The overwhelming majority believe in God. Besides, it's only 12% of spending.
It is not even 12%. Not even close. Sadly, when you google stuff on the national budget, the first hits are teaparty charts, which is what you linked.
If you expand the section labeled “Welfare” which constitutes 12% of the national budget, you’ll see some odd things.
By far, the biggest expense under the “Welfare” category is not welfare at all. It is “Social Exclusion n.e.c.” N.E.C is not elsewhere considered. And the biggest chunk of that is “Earned Income Tax Credits” which are really the only tax breaks available to low income and moderate income working families. So the money that these families are NOT PAYING in taxes is being counted as welfare. In this chart, however, they neglected to include the money that higher income individual families and corporations are NOT PAYING in taxes. When you get to depreciate the value of your investment property, and get a tax break. I don’t see that anywhere. When you shelter your money pre-tax in 401k’s or IRAs. When you get to write off the interest on the mortgage on your second home. When corporations get “incentives” or “rebates” or “exemptions.” You don’t see any of that anywhere.
“Family and Children” make up the second biggest category, and as I previously mentioned, this includes everything from actual “welfare” known as TANF to subsidized school lunches, to the provision of special formula to moderate income women who just gave birth to babies who are unable to nurse.
The third largest expense under the “Welfare” category is unemployment payments. That is not welfare. You (and your employer) been paying into unemployment insurance. And when you lose your job, you get some of that money back. It is not welfare.
The next largest category is “Housing.” While there is certainly a lot of assistance listed there for families facing eviction, for housing for senior citizens, costs associated with housing projects, and whatnot, one of the biggest expenses listed under the subcategory of housing is “Troubled Asset Relief Program” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troubled_Asset_Relief_Program
. Started under George Bush, this is the bailout to financial institutions who got burned after decades of using increasingly predatory loan practices. Not much to do with single moms here either. But the good news is, under this program, many people in the financial industry were able to maintain those 6 and 7 figure bonuses during hard fiscal times.