🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

How entitlements like Social Security and Medicare got so big

May 3, 2024
These programs are the biggest part of the budget, and cuts to them feel personal, one expert says. Reducing them has been tough historically.
Social Security started during the Depression as a way to get money to elderly people, many of whom were living in poverty. Now it's the biggest U.S. government expense.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images