Sorry, Andrew Sullivan: Obama's critics are right

You don’t have to vilify President Obama as a Kenyan socialist to recognize that his policies are reorienting the country toward more dependence on the federal government. Through most of the past half century, the federal government has spent about one dollar in five of national income. Right now, it’s spending about one in four. If Barack Obama is reelected and his policies are continued, that one-dollar-in-four ratio will harden into permanent reality, on the way to one dollar in three, with state and local spending on top of that…

Barack Obama is the first president since Lyndon Johnson to push aggressively for bigger and more interventionist government—and not merely as an emergency measure against the recession…

You see the same reliance on brute force, not market force, in health care. I am one of the few Republicans who will still defend the Heritage Foundation’s idea of regulated insurance exchanges in which customers are mandated to buy pri-vate insurance, with subsidies for those who need subsidies: Romneycare, in a word. Leaving tens of millions of Americans uninsured is both inhumane and inefficient.

But it is striking that the main engine of coverage expansion under the president’s health-care reform is actually not the mandate you hear so much about. The Congressional Budget Office projects that half of all the net gain in insurance coverage under the president’s health-care proposal will be due to higher enrollment in government programs: Medicaid and the CHIP program for poor children.