Government at all levels now eats up twice the share of the national economy it consumed 60 years ago. Are the government services you receive twice as valuable?
That challenge should become the key question in the ongoing battle over Obamacare. Given the obvious tendency of government to spend more and more with no discernable benefit to the public, why should anyone expect a better result from a huge expansion of the federal role in medical care?
The numbers already tell a horrifying story about the reckless expansion of government. In 1951, despite the bloody and costly burdens of the Korean War, spending for federal, state and local governments consumed 22.38% of the total American economy, as measured in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This year (2009) government at all levels will spend at least 45% of every dollar American individuals and industries manage to earn an all-time record for peacetime, approaching the 52.97% that governments used in 1945 at the very height of World War II. To put the current number in perspective, Lyndon Johnson drew near universal condemnation for his irresponsible guns and butter budget of 1968, with bloated government programs to back his Great Society schemes at the same time we supported more than a half-million fighting men in Vietnam. LBJs spending (which helped cost him the presidency) never exceeded 30.46% of GDP; Obamas, at an estimated 45.19% this year (without Obamacare!) is some 50% higher!
How has the public gained from this appalling increase? What aspects of our lives have improved due to expensive new government programs since 1951, or even 1968? In other words, what have we bought with all the trillions and trillions of increased spending?
Before attempting to answer that question, its important to clear away two lies frequently used by liberals to confuse the public on this all-important issue.
DEMOCRATIC LIE NUMBER ONE
The first lie suggests that the chief reason for higher governmental spending involves vast increases in money for defense, wars, foreign aid and other programs related to national security.