This is the economic case, and it is a strong one. But the political and civil cases are equally compelling. Traditionally, at least, the American safety net has been designed to catch those who, for whatever reason, have fallen out of civil society toward the rocks below, but to leave everybody else alone. These days, however, Americans are finding themselves involved with the state as a condition of being alive. The middle-class 36-year-old small-business owner who lives next door almost certainly had nothing much to do with Washington until Obamacare came along. Now? He’s buying his health insurance from a federal website and working out how many hours he can cut back to take advantage of the subsidies. The last Democratic president took concrete steps to mitigate the corrupting consequences of welfare. This one has fought tooth and nail to bring the intractable problems inherent to government aid to everybody in the country, and to transmute the safety net into a smothering, ambient cocoon. How swiftly things change.
Hot Air’s Allahpundit is concerned that the fix is in, and that we will soon witness America follow what Niall Ferguson claimed has been the “decline and fall of the Protestant work ethic in Europe.” “If we’ve reached the stage of welfare-state decadence where it’s a selling point for a new entitlement that it discourages able-bodied people from working,” he wrote, then “there’s no reason to keep going. We’ve lost, decisively.”
You will find no arguments here. Economically, politically, and spiritually, such an outcome would be disastrous.