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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Requiem for the Welfare State

Today’s welfare state is an unaffordable luxury that belongs in a junkyard with other failed experiments.  It will not vanish completely, but responsible politicians—if the term is not oxymoronic—must take the heat and shrink it to a manageable size.  Multiple public pensions providing two or three times the nation’s median income must end.  The private sector cannot support the public sector.  Social Security and Medicare must be means tested.  Victor Davis Hanson writes that we must confront the reality of a welfare state that is predicated on flawed assumptions about everything from demography to human nature [because] a rendezvous with brutal reality is now upon us.

One way or another, the days of robbing our grandchildren will soon be over.  The author questions the practice of automatically increasing welfare payments for people who continue bringing children into the world that they cannot support.  Should Medicaid pay for sex change operations?  Why have  mortgage-interest deductions for people who are wealthy enough to own multiple homes?  Maybe we no longer need troops stationed in Germany and Japan.

Steve Doughty writes in the Mail Online that the welfare states of Europe…are now facing destruction because of the sovereign debt crisis…The troubles that began with the collapse of Greece and which now threaten the euro spell the end for excessive…welfare systems.  If left unchecked, the expanding American welfare state would soon mirror the one that is bankrupting Europe.

Although the average Greek retires at 53, their life expectancy is 80.2 years.  French state workers can retire at age 60 on one-half of their salaries; life expectancy there is 81.1 years.  Fired German workers can collect 60% of their last pretax paycheck amount from the government for a full year.  They cannot afford such largesse, and neither can the US.

The current Theftocrat created recession has put 44 million Americans on food stamps.  The American Thinker reports that there were roughly 20 million in that program in 2006 when President Bush was in office. Federal welfare spending is one of the primary reasons for our $1.5 trillion annual budget deficit.
  • 1.4 trillion for Medicare, Medicaid
  • The Department of Health and Human services gets 83.5 billion
  • Welfare housing costs 41 billion
  • The oxymoronic Earned Income Credit program takes 59 billion
Today O-bumites are trying to borrow trillions more dollars to enhance their vote buying theft-welfare state.  Opposing sides of the Congressional aisle are in a Mexican standoff over continuing this inter-generational theft.  In this article by Daniel Palazzolo, the author describes the national dilemma.

We are in this mess because we don’t want to pay for the programs we profess to need and both parties know it.  We say we want less government, but we don’t want to spare the programs that make government too big.  We say we want our leaders to compromise, or we want a “balanced approach,” but we don’t really want to pay more taxes from our pockets, or accept lower benefits from the programs we depend on.  Let someone else sacrifice.

While we fight about decreasing spending and increasing our debt, we are far along our descent into national bankruptcy.  We cannot pay our bills yet want to borrow more money.  We will soon be insufficiently creditworthy to justify borrowing at low rates.  Congress will be forced to match expenses to revenues because the only people who will loan to us will demand usurious interest rates.  There is a silver lining in our economic cloud after all.

May your gods be with you.

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