Reading some right wingers one might think that the source of all economic problems is black welfare queens having baby after baby in an effort to extract tons of federal welfare dollars so they can live in mansions and drive Cadillacs. OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggerated description of right wing thinking, but it captures the sentiment.
The actual poor are nothing but the whipping boy. The total amount spent on welfare for the poor is not large. There's a nice break down here. People conflate welfare for the poor with other forms of welfare, like Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment. The latter are in fact programs that you must pay into in order to receive generally speaking. They aren't targeted to poor people. When you set all that aside and actually look at outlays to the kind of people the right wing have in mind it's not much. 6.4% of the federal budget.
How much is defense? There are different ways of measuring it, but the standard claim is that it's about 20% of the federal budget. And what kind of value does this bring? It's kind of a bad joke. Is there an entity that actually represents a threat to our nation's security? Even with 9-11 the fact is that the threat of terrorism is miniscule, as this interesting report from Cato makes clear.
This kind of expenditure is pure corporate welfare. Our military endeavors certainly enhance the threat of terrorism in this country. Our wars are counterproductive. We knew they would be before we embarked on them and we now know that in fact they have enhanced the threat of terrorism. We'd be better off giving defense contractors the money, but just dropping bombs in our own deserts. Our military adventures overseas are the root cause of Islamic terrorism.
So if you want to blame our economic problems on welfare why not first blame the much larger and much more counter productive corporate welfare that is our military industrial complex. Instead the right wants to blame the much smaller amount of welfare that actually helps poor single mothers.