The Wall Street Journal could not have found a better pair of authors for the Monday 13 September article “The Size of Government and the Choice This Fall” than [Congressman] Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Arthur C. Brooks [president of the American Enterprise Institute.]
They point out that “Americans like generous government programs and don't want to lose them” and “...favor keeping our social insurance programs intact.”
Could the reason for these conundrums be that, according to the 2010 Statistical Abstract, over 60% of all federal income comes from employer bank accounts because of withholding. Since all employers must do this, there is no competitive reason not to pass on this cost to customers in higher prices, silently converting income taxes and Social Security contributions to a silent national sales tax. Eliminate withholding, forcing the intended taxpayers to send in personal checks for 20% of their take home pay every month would have a decided impact on what the public is willing to lose and what federal intervention should be kept intact.
The authors quote Friedrich Hayek “... that the state has legitimate—and critical—functions, from rectifying market failures to securing some minimum standard of living.” Hayak believed that, but sure didn't find it in the United States Constitution. It isn't covered by the general welfare clause, as is gently but firmly explained by James Madison in his Federalist number 41.
If the public really wants to do it the Hayek way, they should do it the right way, getting appropriate Constitutional amendments passed by 2/3 majorities in each house of Congress and approval by ¾ of the state legislatures.
I've lived in Detroit, St Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh PA, Marblehead MA. Worked as tech rep in Southern CA, Bay area, NYC, I've been to Europe a dozen times (Ireland, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Finland, Belgium.
Favorite restaurants are Gene & Georgetti's in Chicago, Roma Cafe in Detroit, Frankie and Johnie's in NYC, Rigazzi's on the hill in St. Louis (Also Charlie Gitto's, was Angelo's when I went there.)
For about a year I had small offices in Clayton MO, in the Country Club Plaza in KC. I rode a ten-speed bike around Lake Michigan (The bottom half in one week in June 1978, another week for the top half in 1980, used the Badger both times.
Don't get to travel much anymore, but still try to rent a car and go around the Lake in March every year. Sure, there's still snow, and it's not warm, OTOH there are no bugs and no toursts. Greatest little tavern in the world is Sherry's Port Bar in Garden UP MI