Government Benefits in a Post-Boomergeddon World

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.


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9 responses to “Government Benefits in a Post-Boomergeddon World”

  1. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Again, one fails to see what the news is, where the spin is and how the so-called “Boomergeddon” fits in.

    The darkest, neediest areas of most federal funding are:
    (1) The coalfields of West Virginia and Kentucky. They have been poor forever.
    (2) The textile mill areas of Virginia and N.C. that got zapped with the “globalization” craze and its flood of trade deals that gave cheap labor countries and advantage.
    (3) The so-called “Black Belt” of northeastern North Carolina that has the largest population of needy, rural African-Americans other than parts of Mississippi and Alabama. This is hardly news. It has been this way for going on a century or more.

    This exercise of studying a chart and trying to tease some “Boomergeddon” gloom out of it is getting rather stale.

    News, please! Thank you.

    1. Peter, the news is that the most economically deprived regions of the country are the ones who will get clobbered the worst when Washington runs out of Other Peoples’ Money to spend.

  2. Transfer payments will be in the noise, compared to what happens to NOVA when the government stops spending money.

    Stops spending money? Boohahaha.

  3. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    “Other People’s Money?”

    Gee Whiz I thought that Washington was the capital of the United States of America. Has been for a while. Natural that suburbs would be involved in government spending. And why do I somehow believe this isn’t going to change all of that much?

    Could be that I don’t believe that government spending is in as dire straights as you (and the Cato Institute) believe.

    BTW, plenty of big “private” corporation are spending “Other People’s Money” while they hoard cash. Got an answer to that?

  4. when we are spending about twice what we are taking in – in revenues… it gives a whole bunch of people a case of the grue but I’ve never really understood what boomergeddon actually looks like in a practical sense.

    we’ve got Greece … and I guess a whole bunch of entitlement teat suckers will come up dry … at some point… but I’m thinking a whole bunch of bad stuff will happen before we reach that point.

    of course, if you listen to the true believers.. we are taxing the hell out of people … until of course you check the historicals and we find out that we actually got to this point by cutting taxes but not cutting spending.

    if we put taxes back to where they used to be – under Ronald babie Reagan, does that change the smelly outcome of Boomergeddon?

    I have to say it.. actually I don’t mind saying it all.. our right wing culture war friends don’t seem to mind conjuring up all sort of doomsday scenarios these days…. both social and fiscal and I am really wondering what they are really about… because it has little to do with realities and common sense.

  5. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Has a good point. While we are whining about Greece, let’s keep things in perspective. Its GDP is about the size about the size of Greater Miami and South Florida.

  6. Who suffers more? The well paid educated worker who is now out of a job? Or the unemployed coal miner living on his own land?

    One is used to disadvantage. The other, used to a life of credit.

    The article has things backward.

  7. the coal miner living on his own land – gets Social Security and unemployment benefits, food stamps, MedicAid…. etc, etc…


    and they are paid for by who?

  8. Oh.. and they get school funds from sales tax revenues generated in NoVa and HR/TW.

    “living on the land” is no longer what it was back during the Walton’s time – for a lot of folks in that circumstance – some do grow their own pigs and cattle and have a garden and can their harvest and hang pig/steer parts in the smokehouse, etc.. but most no longer do that.

    Many, many people now days live in a double-wide, get unemployment or social security if they are retired and kids and other relatives crowd in to the extent there is room.

    more and more families have morphed back into one-house nuclear families – like we saw in the Waltons!


    but Darrell might be on to something – a back to earth movement where people take whatever they have left in assets.. go where land is cheaper, get a spot, sign up for as many entitlements as they can get… and hang on.

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