The official designation of the Income Security category is “Function 600,” which, in short, ensures a minimum level of income for endangered members of society. Here is the official description from the U.S. House of Representatives website:
“Function 600 consists of a range of income security programs that provide cash or near-cash assistance (e.g., housing, nutrition, and energy assistance) to low-income persons, and benefits to certain retirees, persons with disabilities, and the unemployed. Housing assistance programs account for the largest share of discretionary funding in this function. Major federal entitlement programs in this function include unemployment insurance, trade adjustment assistance income support, food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, foster care, and Supplemental Security Income. Federal and other retirement and disability programs comprise approximately one third of the funds in this function.”37.
Income Security accounted for $303.9 billion in federal spending in 2016. Spending in this category has historically been far below 1% of GDP in recent years38:
Income Security functions should be subject to spending oversights like any other federal spending program, however I would not make any recommendations at this time for cutting spending from any of these programs. On the contrary, I believe these programs promote a healthy society by taking care of the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Now that we’ve covered the biggest spending chunks of federal budget spending we will be taking a look at tax revenue policies and wrapping up the series with a conclusive summary.
37 Committee on the Budget: U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Budget.
38 Austin. 2016. Discretionary Budget Authority by Subfunction: An Overview.