In 1940, the "human resources" part of the federal budget consumed 4.3 percent of GDP. In 2009, it will consume 13 percent, or three times as much.
Before the current economic crisis hit, the American welfare state was on an unsustainable trajectory. The Government Accountability Office informed the Senate in January that it estimated there was a $53 trillion gap between the entitlement benefits the federal government has promised to pay over the next 75 years to people now living in the United States and the tax revenue that can be expected to pay for those benefits.
Then-Comptroller General David Walker said that for the government to cover this gap every American household would need to put up about $455,000.
That is the size of the mortgage the federal government has already taken out in the name of every American family.
We got to this place because politicians for decades have been telling voters they would give them something for nothing -- when what they really meant was they would take money from one set of people and give it to another.
When they borrowed vast sums to keep their welfare-state politics rolling, they were taking money away from future generations -- our children and grandchildren.
Now we are being told we face the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s. And we are being offered the same solution: more federal programs so Uncle Sam can take better care of us.
In other words, the politicians want to take out a second mortgage on top of the $455,000 they have already put on our backs.
America is heading down the blind alley of big government toward the brick wall of national bankruptcy. The only way out is to turn the truck completely around and head back toward small government, self-reliance and freedom.