In "A Nation of Takers," author Nicholas Eberstadt draws on an impressive array of data to detail the exponential growth in entitlement spending over the past 50 years. As he notes, in 1960, entitlement payments accounted for well under a third of the federal government's total outlays. Today, entitlement spending — everything from Medicare to disability payments — accounts for a full two-thirds of the federal budget. While these economic developments are indeed astonishing, the cultural costs of this epidemic are equally troubling, and Eberstadt shows in unflinching detail how this runaway spending is having a very real, long-lasting, negative impact on the character of our citizens.
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One of the especially striking aspects of Obama’s agenda-setting Second Inaugural address was its treatment of the entitlements question. His speech offered the sort of full-throated celebration of America’s real, existing social-welfare system that has not been heard from a U.S. president in decades—possibly since the Sixties.
In President Obama's second inaugural address, he not only outlined an ambitious agenda for his second term but also seemed intent on shutting down debate about the social-welfare state and its impact on American life.
Last week at Cleveland State University, Paul Ryan outlined in broad contours how a Romney-Ryan administration would confront poverty in America.
AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt will argue that over the last two decades, both Democrats and Republicans have fueled a radical transformation that has created an expanding dependency culture in America. William Galston of the Brookings Institution will respond that well-functioning societies are dependent on interdependence