More on Knox County and Entitlements

I received some positive off the ‘net comments regarding my post on Knox County and entitlement spending. Sometimes it can be difficult to contextualize national issues in a way that’s relevant in your own backyard, which is why I appreciated the map of entitlements from the New York Times. Of the comments I heard, one was a question about the other forms of spending in the county. So I thought I’d post some screenshots of how much other benefit programs figure into the county income per capita:

1. Unemployment Benefits 1.09%: From the unemployment insurance that we pay into when we work. 

2. Medicaid 5.58%: Provides reimbursements for hospitals and physicians for treating the very poor, elderly, and eligible children.

3. Medicare 7.02%: The health insurance programs for those over 65 years of age.

4. Social Security 7.8%: The national retirement pension pension program. Or, where your payroll taxes go.

As you can see the single largest percentage contributing to county income is Social Security, followed by Medicare and then Medicaid. Which is exactly the order that the nation as a whole follows.

Anecdotally, I would say that the majority of people I encounter don’t have principled objections to these programs, with the caveat that sometimes Medicaid is attacked. The programs people demagogue (food stamps, TANF, etc) still represent an awfully small percentage nationally and locally, unequal perhaps to level of disgust directed towards the people who use them.


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