How bad will it hurt when Boomergeddon hits and the federal government goes into default/hyperinflation mode? One way to measure the economic impact is dependence upon federal government transfer payments. The New York Times has tallied up expenditures on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans payments, unemployment insurance and income support, and plotted them as a percentage of income for every county in the United States.
To interact with the “Geography of Government Benefits” map, click here.
When things fall apart and the government starts whacking benefits, the economies of Pittsylvania County, Lee County and other benefits-dependent localities could go into freefall.
Interestingly, Northern Virginia relies less upon transfer payments than any other part of the state. The region stands to lose a lot from direct government spending — the Beltway Bandits will take a big hit when federal finances fall apart — but the population could be spared a double whammy from cuts to transfer payments.