Why state governments spend too much

A report from the Rockefeller Institute at SUNY (news release) looks at state and local government spending on social welfare.

After adjusting for inflation, they found that expenditures tripled from 1977 to 2006.  In terms of “per poor person” (their primary focus) welfare spending by state and local governments increased from about $4,500 to $10,000 – more than double, after inflation. 

In other words, not only did we have massive spending increases over and above inflation, but we had more “poor people” (the War on Poverty clearly failed) and spent more per person.

What does the Rockefeller Institute call this dramatic spending increase?  The “New Retrenchment.”  Only social scientists could conclude a tripling of state spending was a cutback.