What’s the most expensive government program in the United States? What do we spend the most on? The following are based on 2002-2003, the latest for which I could readily find statistics.
I suspect that lots of people would say the military but, no, that’s a measly $335.7 billion. Enough that we spend more than any other country in the world by a substantial margin but not enough for it to be our largest expense.
Social Security, then? Close, but no cigar. In 2002-2003, that was $438.11 billion.
No, the champeen, the Big Kahuna was public education. All told, all sources we spent more than $480 billion on public education.
I think it’s quite reasonable to argue about priorities, about how (or whether) we should be spending our money. But I read so many idiotic comments (on other blogs, of course) from people who don’t know the facts it sometimes makes me despair for the Republic.
BTW, we’re also spending more than three times in inflation adjusted dollars what we spent on public education 40 years ago. Are we getting three times as much?