Just for fun, I ran the 2011 numbers to see how the “insurer with a large army” description of the federal government held up. Before interest payments, the federal government spent $3.3 trillion in 2011. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security accounted for about $1.5 trillion of that. Defense spending ate up another $838 billion. All other spending -- everything from farm subsidies to education to infrastructure -- came to $900 billion. The final tally: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and security spending took up fully 68 percent of the budget last year.
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