Inquiring minds are investigating Personal Transfer Receipts.

Personal current transfer receipts are benefits received by persons for which no current services are performed. They are payments by governments and businesses to individuals and nonprofit institutions serving individuals.

Personal Current Transfer Receipts Examples

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment Insurance

Personal Current Transfer Receipts

Note that transfer receipts are nearly $2.4 trillion.

Federal Government Receipts

Ratio of Personal Transfer Receipts to Federal Government Receipts


  • Nearly every dime of federal government receipts goes to personal transfer payments.
  • Between 1960 and 1970, personal transfer payments were 30-35% of federal government receipts.
  • From 1980-2000 the percentage fluctuated between 50% and 65%.
  • If (when) the economy slips back into recession personal transfer payments will exceed 100% of federal government receipts.

Given personal transfer receipts take up nearly 100% of federal government receipts, in theory, there should be no room for anything else, including wars, roads and bridges, and wages of federal employees.

Unfortunately, the government wastes money on wars, wastes money on bureaucracies that should not exist, and overpays on roads, bridges, and infrastructure (because of Davis-Bacon, collective bargaining, and prevailing wage laws).

The only way to remedy this is with an iron-clad, no-exceptions, balanced budget amendment.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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