"Healthcare and Social Security are the big programs poised for growth, thanks to the arc of the baby-boom generation, longer lifespans, and rising medical costs. Insurance-style programs also include farm subsidies and efforts to relieve poverty."
"You do have the yearning for cradle-to-grave paternalism, but as Americans you also have the carry-over of the frontier spirit" of individual opportunity, says Shilling. "That's the trade-off that will define the scope of government," he says.
"European nations have shown that advanced economies can maintain generous social-welfare programs, but...these nations pay a price of more tepid growth. Sweden...has in recent years dropped off the global Top 10 list for per-capita output. Ireland, by contrast, has kept the government burden low and enjoyed rapid economic growth."