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.
Entitlement creep isn't a law of nature - it's a leftist strategy. The original big error was not means-testing Social Security.
Steyn makes the case that ideas like expanding SCHIP to the middle class is the worst thing we can do "for the children."†
†Iím in favor of tax credits for child health care, and Health Savings Accounts for adults, and any other reform that emphasizes the citizenís responsibility to himself and his dependents. But middle-class entitlement creep would be wrong even if was affordable, even if Bill Gates wrote a check to cover it every month: it turns free-born citizens into enervated wards of the Nanny State. As Gerald Ford likes to say when trying to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, ďA government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.Ē But thereís an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isnít big enough to get you to give any of it back. As I point out in my book, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: Once a fellowís enjoying the fruits of Euro-style entitlements, he couldnít give a hoot about the general societal interest; heís got his, and who cares if itís going to bankrupt the state a generation hence?
Thatís the real ďwar on childrenĒ: in Europe, itís killing their future. Donít make the same mistake here.
Women are the ones to make this happen. They don't care about politics, they hate big corporations instinctually, the stay at home ones are already ingrates to their husband's providing, and since nothing is ever good enough, the crappy state care they sign up for is par for the course- "Anything is better than - X".
They have allies in this greed- the young and feminized masses who won't stop demanding free stuff 'till they're 30ish anyway, and who wouldn't drop a dime on their own health care if they were millionaires to boot.
Again too young, or foolish, or ignorant to understand what it is against which they rail, or the consequences of said such.
I'm not at al sure that greed is the actuator in the equation. Fear of consequences arising from a poor choice might fit better. If you break the electorate into a simplistic four quadrant matrix based upon age and sex with 45 being the divider then women under 45 have the plurality. 45 fits well for the '08 election because it separates the Boomer/Geezer contingent from "all that followed". It's also the 'real' dividing point for the conservative shift which occurs when an individual (through fortune and/or effort) actually has a material impetus to think seriously about 'conserving' the fruits of labor.
The Democrat SCHIP superexpansion was actually a test of the female under 45 demographic. The male 'dud dad' component of the Feckless Family was sure to play to the 'consequences of a poor choice' group. I haven't seen any crosstab splits at all on the issue, so I'm not sure whether the effort was judged to be effective.
At any rate, you're correct about the target demographic. It's the same demographic that went for a rapist on the basis that he was just a 'charming rogue'. The very same demographic that has given us the abomination of 'compassionate conservative'. An important thing to remember is that the demographic wouldn't be so easy to manipulate if there weren't so many dud dads.
Another factor to remember is that the Boomer/Geezer contingent will be in the minority from now on. "All that follows" has the whip hand and I've seen no evidence that the Great Codependent is the heroine to them that she is to the over 45 NOW ninnies.
Classic "tragedy' is that which you see coming but cannot avoid. That's why the "problem of the commons" is so often called the "tragedy of the commons". The politics of shifting one's own personal expenses onto the commons, and even better, onto the future commons, is a moral hazard apparently near-irresistible.
That's why the founders created a republic rather than a pure democracy --so that the nation would have leaders who became leaders because voters understood them to be dedicated to the nation itself.
But everything depends on the voters, and if they want to dissolve the nation, then dissolve it they will.
"Simplistic" - you won't be a geezer until 2029. If I make it to 2029, I'll be quite happy to be a geezer. The key shift is the passing of the Yellow Dog/Roosevelt contingent that was very important in '92 and '96. Water from the electoral river now has a completely different flavor.