We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This summary of democracy’s dysfunctions is relevant as well to the decades of our wanton entitlement spending that has accelerated during the last four years. In 2010, government at all levels transferred more than $2.2 trillion in money, goods and services to recipients. Since the 1960s, the government has spent nearly $20 trillion on the War on Poverty. The federal government now runs about 80 programs providing aid to the poor, and government at all levels spends nearly $1 trillion annually to fight poverty. Food stamp spending has doubled during Obama’s first term, reaching $75.7 billion for the fiscal year ending 30 September 2011. From 2007 to 2011, spending on unemployment has nearly quadrupled to $120 billion. And don’t forget the ongoing costs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which in fiscal year 2011 ate up 43% of the federal budget at a cost of $1.56 trillion. On top of these already existing entitlement programs, Obama spent nearly $1 trillion on a stimulus package that benefitted political clients like state government workers, and another $25 billion on the auto bailout that mostly rewarded yet another political client, the UAW. As for Obamacare, the CBO calculates it will cost about $2 trillion over ten years, and still leave 30 million people without health care. As a result of Obama’s increases in these wealth transfers, federal spending has now reached 24% of GDP.
It wasn't until I was in some some advanced college ancient history classes that I realized that the Greek Democracies were horrible failures - not the wonderful successes that are presented to our kids in grade school.
It is actually 2400 different "welfare" programs run by the federal government spread over 5 different cabinet level departments. The amount spent by the federal government on these welfare programs exceeds $1.2 trillion a year and the 50 states spend about an equal amount in mathcing welfare and seperate welfare programs. This is not sustainable and can only end badly.