According to numbers released Thursday, federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, swelled by President Obama's stimulus spending and a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, the Washington Times reports. Federal spending on more than 80 low-income assistance programs reached $746 billion in 2011, and state spending on those programs brought the total to $1.03 trillion, the Congressional Research Service and the Senate Budget Committee reported. That makes welfare the single biggest chunk of federal spending -- topping Social Security and basic defense spending. The biggest item on the list is Medicaid, the federal-state healthcare program for the poor, which at $296 in federal spending made up 40 percent of all low-income assistance in 2011. That total is up $82 billion from 2008. The next big program, food stamps, was at $75 billion in 2011, or 10 percent of welfare spending. That's nearly twice the size it was 2008 and accounts for 20 percent of the total welfare spending increase over the past four years. In that time period, the number of people on food stamps has also risen from 32 million to 47 million.