Elsewhere in this edition I have commented on Amity Shlaes’s book, Great Society: A New History, and reflected on the degree to which the over-confidence, ambitions, and hubris of the public sector elite of the 1960s produced the most massive transformation of America in history, even more so than the New Deal in size and scope. Well, in Joe Biden’s American Families Plan, get ready for an even more comprehensive transformation, which, according to John Cogan and Daniel Heil of the Hoover Institution will extend the reach of federal entitlements to 21 million additional Americans, the largest expansion since, you guessed it, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. If it is fully adopted, for the first time in history more than half of all Americans would be on the federal dole. And the size and scope of the expansion is not the major element of the threat it represents, which is the fact that the programs in the plan are not intended as “safety net” items that are temporary; most of the plan’s entitlement benefits would go to middle and upper income households as “universal” and explicitly designed to make the middle class dependent on government, all of which would make them politically durable.
And as Cogan and Heil note, improving the safety net is one thing, but spending more than $1 trillion on mainly middle-class entitlements and financing it with debt robs future generations while enriching today’s–pure generational theft by another name, and unforgivable. Anyone who votes for this abomination is complicit.