This is a rather long George Will speech that is well worth reading through. I SINCERELY hope that his thesis, borrowed from Orwell, that "we are not a state broken people" will hold true in November and beyond. Putting the likes of BO in the WH is taking a severe risk, I think it remains to be seen if this regime will allow itself to be slowed by the vote.
I've been reading a number of books that dovetail with my view that we are in for a very extended "age of re-assessment" -- involving significant loss of wealth, lifestyle and our very liberties being very much in doubt in America. Like all Presidents, Bush was a dissappointment, especially in his 2nd term. Most people forget how difficult Reagan's 2nd term was -- Iran Contra may refresh the mind. What was very new is that this time, for the first two years of that term, Republicans were in charge of Congress, and had already fallen prey to that very real temptation to spend the current and future people's treasure, heavily contributed along with the painful drag of the two wars, to "the base" abandoning the Republican brand.
Republicans as a voting block forgot that in order to govern for the long run, many candidates that are far far less than perfect must be tolerated as the lesser of two evils. The idea that "we may as well have Democrats if they can't do any better than this", has now, very quickly been proven to be demonstratively false. The sad problem is that like the AM hangover compounded with very real damage done to your reputation, family, finances, or all of the above, bad decisions often have much longer term consequences.
In my opinion, we are seeing a series of very long term bubbles pop, and they will continue to pop ... home prices, markets, personal and public debt, the dollar ... an yes, "entitlements". For a century ... with peaks in the 30's, 60's and now 10's, BOTH PARTIES (the W drug benefit is like 1/3 the size of BOcare) have engaged in an orgy of vote buying through entitlements that are largely to be paid (they thought) by "future generations".
Folks, welcome to the future! We have seen it, and it is impoverished! Thank you "Progressives"!
Anyway, I recommend the whole Will article. Here is just a little teaser on the "welfare bubble".
In 2007, per capita welfare state spending, adjusted for inflation, was 77 percent higher than it had been when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated 27 years earlier. The trend continues and the trend is ominous. Fifty-one days ago the president signed into law health care reform, that great lunge to complete the New Deal project and the Great Society, that great lunge to make us more European. At exactly the moment that this is done the European Ponzi scheme of the social welfare state is being revealed for what it is.