European By Any Other Name

America,Europe,Journalism,Media,Socialism,The State,Welfare


The stock characters we see on TV have certain stock phrases. Triteness goes with the Talker’s territory. A variation on a theme is as follows: “We want to avoid becoming a welfare state like the European states.” Obama is “converting America into a European style social-welfare state.” This, in the teeth of a 160 percent debt to GDP, a figure easily arrived at by adding to US liabilities, not only the paltry “$14.5 trillion in federal debt,” but the $2.7 trillion in state and local debt, “plus the $6.5 trillion federal mortgage guarantees to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

These figures, cited here, don’t, I believe, fully account for the promises made on the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security fiscal fronts.

How European is America? Peter Ferrara at has grappled admirably with a reality ordinarily avoided in our mummified media. “America’s welfare state is not a principality,” he writes. “It is a vast empire bigger than the entire budgets of almost every other country in the world.”

Hey, just like our military, which, as I’ve contended, “works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government.”

Back to the “welfare/entitlement empire“:

Just one program, Medicaid, cost the federal government $275 billion in 2010, which is slated to rise to $451 billion by 2018. Counting state Medicaid expenditures, this one program cost taxpayers $425 billion in 2010, soaring to $800 billion by 2018. Under Obamacare, 85 million Americans will soon be on Medicaid, growing to nearly 100 million by 2021, according to the CBO.

But there are 184 additional federal, means-tested welfare programs, most jointly financed and administered with the states. In addition to Medicaid is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Also included is Food Stamps, now officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly 42 million Americans were receiving food stamps in 2010, up by a third since November, 2008. That is why President Obama’s budget projects spending $75 billion on Food Stamps in 2011, double the $36 billion spent in 2008.

But that is not the only federal nutrition program for the needy. There is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which targets assistance to pregnant women and mothers with small children. There is the means tested School Breakfast Program and School Lunch Program. There is the Summer Food Service Program for Children. There are the lower income components of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Then there is the Nutrition Program for the Elderly. All in all, literally cradle to grave service. By 2010, Federal spending for Food and Nutrition Assistance overall had climbed to roughly $100 billion a year.

Then there is federal housing assistance, totaling $77 billion in 2010. This includes expenditures for over 1 million public housing units owned by the government. It includes Section 8 rental assistance for nearly another 4 million private housing units. Then there is Rural Rental Assistance, Rural Housing Loans, and Rural Rental Housing Loans. Also included is Home Investment Partnerships (HOME), Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Housing for Special Populations (Elderly and Disabled), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Shelter Grants, the Supportive Housing program, the Single Room Occupancy program, the Shelter Plus Care program, and the Home Ownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere (HOPE) program, among others.

READ ON. And don’t listen to anything that comes out of the mouths of America’s Sino– and Europhobic bobbleheads, whose grasp of reality is tenuous at best.

5 thoughts on “European By Any Other Name

  1. Myron Pauli in Alabama

    Quickie comment on food aid – 1 lb or Chicken Bologna sells in DC for $ 1 – probably enough protein and calories to sustain a person for a day – add a vitamin pill and you can feed someone on about $ 400 / year which times 30 million “poor” comes out to $ 12 billion /year – so how does the government spend $ 100 Billion just on that. In a $ 15 Trillion economy, the needs of the poor can be met with charity – as an Anti-Mao, I say “let 1000 Salvation Army shelters bloom”.

  2. Kerry

    That’s such a great point that the U.S military “works like government; is financed like government, and sports many of the same inherent malignancies of government.” What frustrates me is the fact that many “conservatives” fail to understand this. The mere mention of a military spending cut and you’re labeled an “unpatriotic, anti-American liberal.”

  3. Greg

    You nailed it again Ilana. It is ironic that people are worried that we might become a socialist European state. We already are and it sounds like we have actually surpassed them. You are right Myron. The needs of the poor should be met by charitable organizations. That would be so much more efficient but unfortunately the “poor” have been convinced that only the government can meet their needs.

  4. Dave Hershiser

    One person can live very well and cheaply on a macrobiotic-type diet of rice, lentils and a few veggies for only a few dollars per day. And by doing so eliminate about 80% of medical costs incurred by our industrialized poisonous diet. It’ll never happen of course. There’s too much money to be made in health care and in the subsidized food industry.

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