Tuesday, September 18, 2012

David Brooks

David Brooks, in today's New York Times:
In 1960, government transfers to individuals totaled $24 billion. By 2010, that total was 100 times as large.
i.e., $2.4 trillion

FMS is the principal disbursing agent of the federal government. Each year, FMS issues more than 1 billion payments, or approximately 84% of all federal payments, in excess of $2.4 trillion. These include social security, veterans' benefits, Office of Personnel Management federal salary and retirement, railroad retirement, income tax refund and vendor payments.
I'm guessing therefore that David Brooks is including income tax refunds in the  "government transfers to individuals".  For wage-earning people, this means that the federal tax withheld at the source is too high.