Currently, the U.S. federal government spends about .4 trillion per year--about 12% of GDP--on entitlement programs. This amounts to ,500 per person annually. Only 48% of this spending goes to people officially classified as poor. The federal government provides more than ,000 per year in Social Security and Medicare benefits to retired middle-income couples. And this is at a time when almost half of households headed by people under age 65 have incomes less than ,000. How did we get to this fiscal state? When did Congress's irresponsibility with entitlement spending begin? When the federal government ran budget surpluses, how did that affect Congress's decisions about entitlements? What
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