Arnold Kling presents a coherent definition of the American Welfare State (go to p. 9 of the document). Arnold develops a history of American Welfare in a short number of pages, and it is one that the Student should study. Arnold asserts that the American Welfare system came through piece-meal implementation, but does not insist on the most serious characteristic of the system; which consists of the impossibility of eliminating or altering any aspect of the system, once passed. Special Interest groups coalesce upon passage, and are soon backed by business interests which benefit from the program. Such lobbyists are singularly incapable of being defeated as the current patronage system is constructed. Social Security benefits are still distributed through levels of Income, though taxation for such benefit levels is forbidden; especially troublesome when Medicare composes an increasing share of the matrix. Tax Breaks, however awarded, can never be challenged no matter how seriously it disrupts the tax revenue program; We would still be subsidizing buggy whip manufacturers, if any were still in business. We retain the spectacle of middle Incomes being taxed at a higher rate than higher Incomes, simply because of insistence of differentiation of types of Income for tax purposes. Read Arnold carefully, then consider the issues I have raised.
It may be time to turn to this article, then ask whether the complications are naturally existent, or artificially generated. The difficulties of Iraq and Afghanistan come not from the military difficulties, but from the concept of Nation Building. The defeat of an enemy opponent is rather simplistic in design, simply destroy them with massive weight of Firepower; the replacement of the enemy in the area with a cohesive force of native origin remains functionally impossible. The Financial Crisis become unmanageable, only after one adopts the thesis of Too Big to Fail! One is immediately faced with an inability to call any Commercial Paper by the name Crap! The health care system can be Saved simply by declaring a total limit per Patient per year, whether paid by himself, Insurance company, or Government, constitutes the natural health insurance to guarantee adequate medical treatment for the entire year. The Gulf Oil Spill can be closed with naval torpedoes of like order as the Cave-Buster bombs of the Air Force; then all Costs of clean-up placed on the Drillers. In all cases under study, the concept of Bankruptcy must be upheld; as positive guarantor of prime performance.
What I am proposing is not an outlandish rugged Individualism. It is simply forcing all Parties to assess and understand their own limitations. Military and Government must go back to simply suppressing their enemies, health care goes back guiding their health care on business practicality (they are supposed to be a business), and the IRS returns to raising tax revenues–rather than moderating monetary policy. God save me, but I believe that Government must go back to perceiving business interests as the worst of their enemies. We need to ignore the special interest, and join in the communal interest; the alternative can only be horror, and consist of indecision when We need leadership. lgl