Anyone who doubts the trend toward socialism is pushing America toward ruin should examine the historical tables President Obama published Monday along with his $3.7 trillion budget.
In fiscal 2011, according to these tables, the Department of Health and Human Services will spend $909.7 billion. In fiscal 1965, the entire federal government spent $118.228 billion.
What about inflation? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator, $118.228 billion in 1965 dollars equals $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars. In real terms, the $909.7 billion HHS is spending this year is about $87.1 billion more than the entire federal government spent in 1965.
1965 was a key year in the advancement of socialism in the United States.
From 1776 until 1965, Americans generally did not rely on the federal government for health care unless they served in the military or worked in some other capacity for the federal government.
But in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson and a Democratic Congress enacted two massive federal entitlement programs -- Medicare and Medicaid -- that fundamentally altered the relationship between Americans and the federal government by making tens of millions dependent on the government for health care.
Prior to 1937, the Supreme Court correctly understood the Constitution to deny the federal government any power to create and operate social-welfare programs. The Constitution held no such enumerated power, and the 10th Amendment left powers not enumerated to the states and the people.
From George Washington's administration to Franklin Roosevelt's, Americans took care of themselves and their own communities without resorting to federal handouts.
FDR sought to change what he believed was an unrealistic reliance on families in American life.
He used the crisis of the Great Depression to pass the Social Security Act of 1935, compelling Americans to pay a payroll tax in return for the promise of a federal old-age pension. This was blatantly unconstitutional. That same year, in Railroad Retirement Board v. Alton, the Supreme Court had justly slapped down a law mandating what amounted to a Social Security program for the railroad industry alone.
FDR attempted to defend the railroad pension law as a legitimate regulation of interstate commerce, justifiable under the Commerce Clause -- the same argument the Obama administration has used to defend the individual mandate in Obamacare.
The Court scoffed, suggesting that if the federal government could mandate a federal pension for railroad workers, the next thing it would do would be to mandate health care.