The incentive structure of the modern welfare state is similar to the one that Franklin condemned in old England, except that ours is more generous and more tolerant of single motherhood. Since 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson inaugurated the modern War on Poverty, total annual government welfare spending has grown from less than $9 billion ( percent of gross domestic product) to $324 billion (5 percent of GDP) in 1993 to $927 billion (6 percent of GDP) in 2011.  Between 1965 and 2013, the government spent $22 trillion (adjusted for inflation) on means-tested welfare programs—more than three times the costs of all military wars in the history of the United States. 
The Economy Act , drafted by Budget Director Lewis Williams Douglas , was passed on March 14, 1933. The act proposed to balance the "regular" (non-emergency) federal budget by cutting the salaries of government employees and cutting pensions to veterans by fifteen percent. It saved $500 million per year and reassured deficit hawks, such as Douglas, that the new President was fiscally conservative. Roosevelt argued there were two budgets: the "regular" federal budget, which he balanced, and the emergency budget , which was needed to defeat the depression. It was imbalanced on a temporary basis. 
This is just the start of what will be a lengthy and difficult process. The good news is that the bill sponsors have set up a process that is both collaborative and deliberate, and is designed to minimize top-down decisions that create unintended consequences. The “Regionalization Working Group” and the “Child Well-Being Transformation Council” – the bodies responsible for developing and overseeing many of the bill’s major reforms – include local and state-level stakeholders from a diverse cross-section of agencies. These collaborations will spend several years working through the practical and financial challenges that accompany transformational change.