That's my relabeling for accuracy of an otherwise-excellent Paul Krugman post today. Two excerpts from his post:
But this seems like a good time to repeat, once again, the truth about federal spending: Your federal government is basically an insurance company with an army. The vast bulk of its spending goes to the big five: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense, and interest on the debt.
. . .
And if you want smaller government, either you're talking about cuts in the big five, or you have no idea what you're talking about.
Of course, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are not true insurance. They are tax-and-subsidy schemes.
While I'm at it, these two posts of his (here and here) on how Iceland used a floating exchange rate to avoid wrenching internal adjustments in wages and prices are excellent.