Social Security taxes on workers were less than half what they are now. Medical costs were a lot lower.
The 1960 Federal budget, in constant 2008 dollars, was less than a fifth of what it is now. Yet somehow parks stayed open, White House tours got made, and the mail got delivered. The Federal deficit in 1960? $2.1 billion in 2008 dollars. The deficit now is 600 times that.
1960 Federal revenues, in 2008 dollars, were $631 billion, or $3,500 per citizen, compared to the current $6,300 per citizen.
Percentage of Americans with health insurance in 1960: About 75 percent.
Now, after trillions of dollars of government health care programs: 84 percent, a gain of 9 points.
Defense spending as a percentage of the Federal budget was around 53 percent, over twice what it is now.
Education spending per student in 1960 (constant 2008 dollars): $2,741. In 2008: $11,134. A factor of four.
There was no Federal Department of Education, and somehow these students still built the greatest technological civilization on the planet, and put men on the Moon.
There was no Department of Housing and Urban Development. No Federal Departments of Transportation, Energy, or Veteran’s Affairs. No EPA. No Department of Homeland Security.
How on earth did we survive?