On average, how much per year does the federal government spend on means-tested welfare for every household in the U.S.?
In 2017, the federal government spent $701 billion on means-tested welfare. This amounts to 18% of all federal outlays and $5,554 for every household in the United States. Means-tested welfare programs provide cash and other benefits to people with incomes and/or assets below certain thresholds. Examples of such include Medicaid, Food Stamps, Pell Grants, and Supplemental Security Income. Seven of the ten largest federal means-tested welfare programs are "mandatory." This means they are permanently funded and can perpetually spend money without Congress and the President passing new laws.