The payouts are small, you can't live on it, and one can't even pay rent with it in most cases . The program is intended to serve the needs of the children who can't choose who they are born to. No one can get welfare at all unless they have a child. Since welfare reform signed by Clinton in the 90s, each individual state now implements the programs as they see fit and many controlled by Republicans have made the conditions so strict that almost no one can get it, in some cases estimates are that less than 10% of those qualifying are able to obtain it. So much for the idea that we're being dragged into debt by paying for all those living off of us hard working taxpayers.
Food Stamps is not truly welfare, although it helps people to eat and stay alive, barely, when in tough circumstances, but a subsidy to the agriculture industry, to keep it from crashing and further deepening recessions into depressions. It was created to keep small farmers afloat when an economic downturn hit, back in 1933, when we still had small farmers instead of the huge corporate Food, Inc. we have now. It is less than 3% of the budget, 2013 budget about $75 billion, but its been cut recently. It goes down when people get back to work, by keeping them alive and putting money back into the economy in the process at a 2 to 1 ratio, Food Stamps accelerates that process.
Other 'welfare' programs have already been cut to the bone, the sequester hacking them even more. Home heating assistance (LIHEAP) drastically so. People will die this winter from freezing to death. Rental assistance through HUD is a fraction of the budget as well. Can't recall the figure off the top of my head. You should get the picture of the reality by now. If you care about reality that is.
As you may know the net big targets of the 'sensible adults' are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Only the last can be truly considered 'social welfare' IMHO as its free health insurance for the poor. I suppose we could just "let them die." That costs us money too, you realize? If we took action to create jobs however, the number enrolled would drop as would the amount we spend. Makes sense don't you think? Not to conservatives.
On the other hand, defense contractors are notorious for ripping off the government in the billions. Outright fraud, over-billing, cost overruns, bribes, and hundreds of other means of corruption are rife and costing us trillions as the decades roll by and the conservative movement, its super-wealthy backers, and their highly paid lobbyists refuse to allow any examination or cuts in this massive giveaway of hard-working taxpayers money to a lucky few with inside connections. With the billions the contractors make they invest in propaganda to create fear and paranoia among the uninformed, to convince the 'base' of the need to cut off the poor (who they will soon join) and spend trillions more on multi-billion dollar ships for a naval war that will never occur, and other fancy super-expensive and eventually obsolete war toys for the next war for oil or imperial interests, or as is now admitted by Bush White House insiders re. the Iraq War "we just wanted to kick someone's ass."