Whenever you see a pie graph that is meant to represent all government spending. You will probably see a graph like the one at US Government Spending or the one at Wikipedia which shows that Welfare spending is 12% of the federal budget. The problem with that is that the government has no spending category called Welfare. Therefore, what somebody calls Welfare is somewhat subjective and undefinable. The Office of Management and Budget(OMB) does have a spending category called Income Security. Internet government spending just take that entire category and divides it by total spending to get 12%. In 2009 accounts categorized as income security accounted for 533$ billion in spending. According to the government printing offices historical tables, table 3.2: Oulays by Function and Subfunction, that spending is broken down into 6 distinct subfunctions. General retirement and disability insurance Federal employee retirement and disability Unemployment compensation Housing assistance Food and nutrition assistance Other income security But 3 out of the 6 income security subfunctions go to pensions and unemployment things that must be earned by working and paying into. The 3 remaining subfunctions cost a combined 284$ billion dollars, but even that doesnt tell the whole story. Over the last week Ive taken a more detailed look at each of these subfunctions to get an idea of how that money is spent. What I found was that even in the remaining subfunctions, Food and Nutrition, Housing Assistance, and Other that not all of that spending was spent on the poor. When I analyzed the Other income security subfunction, I graphed how that money was spent by categorizing that spending into 4 different categories: Not Directed at Poor\Earned: Welfare not targeted to poor. The poor may use these programs, but just being poor will not qualify you for these programs. Direct: Welfare thats Direct money to the poor In-direct: Money paid to 3rd parties on behalf of the poor Poor & Middle Class: These are tax rebates that poor and most middle class people qualify for and use. I would now like to extend that analysis to the entire 533$ billion that the U.S. government spent on income security. Heres how the numbers break down. So tell me Is welfare bringing the economy down in you eyes?