The prognosis is dire: "The very nature of this country's republican form of government is called into question." Furthermore, the United States has reached the brink of a "tipping point," at which "reckless growth in dependence programs has produced domestic debt crises." Such are the findings of the Heritage Foundation's annual "Index of Dependence on Government," released yesterday. Reading the report makes clear why next month's elections may be the last chance to stop government from growing so big as to cause systemic collapse.
A major component of the cost of increased government spending has been the phenomenal growth in the work force of the nation's largest employer - the federal government.
Halloween is still weeks away, yet already a specter haunts Washington. It is the specter of dependency.
Last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiled with much fanfare their "Pledge to America." It is intended by the GOP leadership to serve as both a campaign platform for winning a new majority and a program for governing should they succeed.
The annual poverty numbers came out recently, and with them the annual onslaught of explanations and political posturing.
Government figures released Thursday provided a new window on the deep pain inflicted by the recession, with the U.S. poverty rate rising to its highest level in 15 years in 2009 and a record 43.6 million Americans officially labeled poor.
News reports indicate Republicans have finalized their policy platform for November's elections. The two main economic planks - keeping tax rates low and cutting spending - provide strong legs for the party's economic message.
For all of this week's talk about President Obama's "second stimulus," why do so many Americans feel less stimulated than chafed? The parade of stimuli that President George W. Bush launched and the stimulator-in-chief has accelerated has left America impoverished, indebted and increasingly jobless. Now Mr. Obama wants more.
President Obama says the federal government needs more revenue, while House Minority Leader John A. Boehner says it needs to spend less.