Welfare advocates regularly urge Americans to look to the European welfare state as a model. At least in the case of the Netherlands, they might be on to something.
Last fiscal year Uncle Sam had some budget good news. After running $1 trillion-plus deficits four years in a row, Washington had to borrow “just” $680 billion in 2013. True, that was the fifth highest deficit in history, 50 percent greater than the pre-financial crash record. But it’s only the taxpayers’ money, so what’s the big deal?
In the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan calls the Ryan-Murray budget deal a “step in the right direction,” which echoes a claim by Rep. Paul Ryan. She says the deal “goes in the right general direction, not the wrong one.” But how could a deal composed of spending and revenue increases possibly be the right direction when the government is already far too large?