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.
The only way to finance a big European-style state is to have it paid for by massive taxation of everyone, mostly the middle class. Right now, we are avoiding honest debate on this fact.
There will be large tax increases on the middle class. There is no getting around it, if people want so many government benefits. Those Obamacare taxes are just the beginning. With that will come ever-slowing growth of jobs and income.
The game is over. Our debt cannot be paid off! Our voters prefer "free stuff" to freedom so we will not cut spending. This really all voils down to a simple equation; how long can the politicians keep kicking the can down the road before the economy collapses. "The great reset", the next "great depression", "SHTF", whatever you want to call it. The answer is that we don't know. The president and his co-conspiritors in congress may be able to squeak through another four years by borrowing and printing money. Some unexpected black swan event may precipitate a collapse before then. No way to know until it happens. The inevitability of it is not in question only when, how will it play out and how bad will it get...
The part of this that no one mentions is that the coveted European lifestyle with vacation time up the wazoo and a safety net pushed to extremes was financed by someone - America! It was through American taxes and our amazing ability to take wartime production and switch it to postwar consumer production that gave us the ability to spread our success around. Those days are over. Germany is doing what she can to keep much of Europe solvent - who will do that for us? No one! No one can!
Guess we can thank the low-information voter who chose to vote with emotions rather than facts. Now those same voters are kvetching that their first paycheck of the new year is less. Welcome to reality.