Spending Surge for Seniors: Medicare and Social Security Total 50% of Budget by 2030

Veronique de Rugy
Mercatus Center at George Mason University
December 19, 2011

"Half of the entire budget will be consumed by payments for senior citizens by 2030.

In 1970, spending on Social Security and Medicare was one-fifth of the budget (blue portion). This portion has since grown to nearly 37 percent of the budget in 2010; this amounts to over twice spending on defense or 8.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Other spending (red portion), which includes a variety of other mandatory programs (such as federal civilian and military retirement, veteran’s programs, and unemployment compensations) as well as discretionary programs, makes up a decreasing share of the budget in the future."

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Library Topic: Social Security
Library Topic: Medicare

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Chart or Graph

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Analysis Report White Paper

The piece is a good example of the approach taken by those who believe the federal government should play a role in providing all Americans with healthcare.

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Video/Podcast/Media

Audio clip of address by President Lyndon Johnson on April 9, 1965 following passage of the Medicare bill in the House of Representatives. This passage in the House was a key event because the bill had previously been blocked in the House. In his brief 5-minute speech, President Johnson discusses this new program in the historical context of the original Social Security Act of 1935.

Audio clip of address by President Lyndon Johnson on April 9, 1965 following passage of the Medicare bill in the House of Representatives.

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Primary Document

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"11:13 A.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Good to see you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Please, everybody be seated. Thank you very much. You're very kind. (Applause.)

Let me begin by thanking Nancy...

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"The...

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