Sunday, January 13, 2013

"We already are a welfare state" Mona Charen

Conservatives unhappy with federal deficit spending often warn that we’re on the road to becoming a European welfare state, said Mona Charen. Who are we kidding? America is already a welfare state. In fact, if you add local and state government spending to federal outlays, the U.S. government spends more per citizen than do France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The only real difference is that “we aren’t honest about our appetite for big government.” When asked, most Americans will insist they prefer small government—in theory. But in reality, we’ve grown addicted to government services and checks: 60 million depend on Medicaid benefits, 54 million get Social Security checks, 48 million are on Medicare, and 45 million receive food stamps. More than 20 million work directly for government, and millions more are private contractors dependent on government funding. If you protest that you “paid for” your Social Security and Medicare benefits, you really didn’t. The average beneficiary gets far more in benefits than he paid in. “We are, in short, a socialist-style society just like Europe.” Admitting it is the first step in recovery.

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