Five liberal Democrat presidential candidates -- one actually honest enough to label himself a socialist -- appeared before the American public in their first debate. They made it apparent that the only variation between any of them was just how much bigger and how much faster each one wants to grow government.
Democratic Party politicians no longer feel any need to even pay lip service to the idea that America has anything to do with a free people.
Their unabashed rendition of the American dream is increasing percentages of the American population dependent on getting money recycled to them from the government -- money taken from other citizens or from ever-increasing government debt.
And seeing as record numbers of Americans have become dependent on government, Democrats have a pretty powerful political strategy. More and more Americans just want assurance that they won't lose their government money. They are less interested in where the money is coming from; whether we are going bankrupt; what bloated government is doing to the performance of our economy; or the moral price they are paying for this government dependency.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, 70 percent of U.S. government spending in 2013 was government transfers -- direct payments of the government to individuals. Before 1960, transfer payments used less than 20 percent of the U.S. government budget.
American Enterprise Institute economist Mark Perry notes that these government transfer payments in 2013 amounted to $2.6 trillion, or 15 percent of our GDP -- an all-time high.
According to a Pew Research survey, 55 percent of Americans have received benefits from at least one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs.
And it is no accident that most loyal Democratic Party supporters are those most dependent on government.
Twenty percent of Democrats report having received benefits from three or more government programs in their lifetime, compared to 12 percent of Republicans. And 27 percent of blacks report receiving benefits from three or more programs compared to 14 percent of whites.
You might say that more Democrat voters get government money because more Democrat voters are low-income earners. But then I ask: Which is the chicken and which is the egg?
Black poverty is overwhelmingly concentrated in single-parent households.
The breakdown of marriage and the American family has occurred in parallel with the massive growth of big government and the America welfare state.
Back in 1960, when government transfer payments were less than 20 percent of the federal budget, 75 percent of American adults were married. Today, with 70 percent of the federal budget being paid out to individuals, 50 percent of American adults are married.
Over this same period of time, the number of single-parent black households tripled.
It is also no accident that Democrats peddling big government answers to all of life's problems also are out front supporting abortion and redefining marriage.
Democrat politicians are simply America's equivalent to drug lords. They get richer and more powerful coaxing Americans -- particularly our weakest and most at-risk communities -- into welfare-state oblivion.
Forbes recently estimated the net worth of 20 of the current presidential candidates. Third wealthiest is Hillary Clinton at an estimated $45 million. Only Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina are wealthier. But Trump's money and Fiorina's money come from business.
How did Clinton, who introduced herself in the Democratic debate as the granddaughter of a factory worker, accumulate this massive wealth? Did she start a business? Build a company? Invent something?
No; these are the huge dividends of political power and influence.
All projections show growing federal budget deficits, growing debt, and mind-boggling red ink as result of entitlement programs that cannot be sustained. Does our nation have to formally crash and burn in order to wake us up?
The question now is whether Republicans can produce a strong enough leader to counter the power and destructiveness of the Democrat welfare-state drug lords.