Big Government

More Americans Want Bigger Government—If It's Free

A more active government wins growing approval, but only so long as it doesn’t raise taxes, require tradeoffs, or interfere with private enterprise.


Good news for control freaks and nanny-staters across the U.S.: Americans' support for a bigger, more active government is edging up, potentially creating an opening for politicians and activists who want their countrymen to snuggle in the warm bosom of a nurturing state that provides an ever-greater variety of goods, services, and rules for people's lives. There's just one catch: Americans don't want to pay for it. Support for a big, muscular government falls off a cliff if it comes with a price tag.

"Since 2010, the percentage of Americans saying government should do more to solve the country's problems has increased 11 percentage points, to 47%, and the percentage wanting government to take active steps to improve people's lives is up eight points, to 42%," Gallup reported last week. Forty-nine percent think the government is doing too much, and 29 percent prefer a government that provides just basic services.

Here's the opportunity politicians—especially Democrats—have been looking for as they promise "Medicare for All," student loan forgiveness, universal basic income, government-supported housing, subsidized child care, and more. Progressive standard-bearers Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have made particular waves with their plans for government largesse, but Pete Buttigieg and others have their own schemes for turning the federal government into Santa Claus with a bottomless bag of gifts.

But a government that provides everything to everybody is going to run up some bills. Oh, you can cut some existing programs and transfer the funds to other programs, but that's hardly going to satisfy the demands of "Americans saying government should do more." More programs and spending will require more resources that have to come from somewhere. And since bake sales usually fall a bit short when you're talking about funding government takeovers of large segments of the economy and extensive new programs, that's going to mean turning tax collectors into busy beavers.


"A more active government would almost certainly result in higher taxes," Gallup adds. "However, relatively few Americans favor that approach… In the latest poll, 25% would opt for increased taxes and services, 32% want no change and 42% prefer smaller government."

Support for higher taxes to pay for expanded government is up a bit in the survey from years past, but it remains a distinctly minority taste.

That means Americans are growing increasingly enthusiastic about placing orders for health care, higher education, housing, and more from the government—for free. But when they see prices on the menu, they balk, big time.

It's not just survey questions about an abstract activist government that give Americans second thoughts—specific examples do the same. Medicare for All gains overwhelming support—as high as 71 percent in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey—from Americans so long as they think it's entirely cost-free and devoid of tradeoffs. But throw in some real-world qualifiers, and that support erodes.

"Net favorability drops as low as -44 percentage points when people hear the argument that this would lead to delays in some people getting some medical tests and treatments," the Kaiser survey adds. "Net favorability is also negative if people hear it would threaten the current Medicare program (-28 percentage points), require most Americans to pay more in taxes (-23 percentage points), or eliminate private health insurance companies (-21 percentage points)."

Costs for these plans are unavoidable. Warren's spending schemes would run to at least $26 trillion in new taxes, although she likes to pretend that her scheme would be paid for by a wealth tax that would simultaneously extract funds from successful people while punishing them for their success. Sanders himself concedes that his plan for government-run health care would cost between $30-$40 trillion over ten years. He honestly admits that it would be the middle class that constitutes the majority of the population—not just some rich people somewhere—who would foot the bill.

Tens of trillions of dollars in new taxes are likely to prove a bit of a hurdle for Americans who want lots of new goodies from the government only if they're entirely free.

If you're looking for more evidence that people are a little confused about what they want, try asking Americans about the widely reported growing enthusiasm for socialism. Capitalism—the free market—remains the preferred choice of 60 percent of respondents, with 39 percent having a positive view of socialism, according to Gallup. As with everything in this country, the division is increasingly partisan: Positive views of socialism have risen to 65 percent among Democrats and declined to 9 percent among Republicans. Fifty-two percent of Democrats have a positive view of capitalism vs. 78 percent of Republicans.

But, do you know what almost everybody likes? Eighty-seven percent of the population has a positive view of free enterprise, including 92 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Independents, and 83 percent of Democrats. Ninety percent of Americans have a positive view of entrepreneurs, including 93 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Independents, and 88 percent of Democrats.

Age-wise, only 47 percent of those 18-34 have a positive view of capitalism (52 percent like socialism), but 81 percent of them give a thumbs-up to free enterprise and 90 percent dig entrepreneurs. Just as interesting, only 28 percent of Americans want more business regulation, while 38 percent want less.

Wait… How can people like the entrepreneurs who start private businesses that function in a system of free enterprise so much more than capitalism, which is a synonym for free enterprise? And how can they expect relatively lightly regulated entrepreneurial enterprise to thrive in a government-run, socialist economy?

At a guess, drawing from the data for support of activist government, socialist-leaning Americans most strongly favor the kind of socialism that doesn't impose any costs or inconveniences on people starting and running businesses. That's a nice way of saying that people don't know what the hell they're talking about, but they'll happily favor things that you tell them are nice, so long as they cost nothing.

This would be a good time to bang your head against the wall in exasperation.

For what it's worth, Gallup points out that support for bigger government has been higher in the past—specifically after 9/11, and in the aftermath of the recession of 1992-1993. That means Americans' desire for a more activist government ebbs and flows, often increasing after traumatic national shocks. But people's enthusiasm for private enterprise and low taxes lives on.

NEXT: Regulation and 'the Right Ordering of Economic Life'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. //There’s just one catch: Americans don’t want to pay for it. Support for a big, muscular government falls off a cliff if it comes with a price tag.//

    Which is why they have to sell it to the average person by promising to fleece the rich. And after the rich are milked dry, it will be the kulaks, and collective farmers that shirk, and the wreckers in the factories.

    1. No problem. We’ll just put it on the credit card, then declare bankruptcy if the balance gets too big.

      1. After all, we owe it to ourselves.

  2. “More Americans Want Bigger Government—If It’s Free”

    I have to believe that people who believe it is really free are stupid or just deceiving them-self

    1. It’s both. Stupid people believe stupid shit. It is the mantra of liberals everywhere.

    2. Half of Americans are below average IQ. And most of them don’t follow politics or have the slightest idea what a federal budget is.

      They’re so low information that they don’t know what “low information” means.

      1. Nice paraphrase of Carlin.

        1. God, I miss George Carlin.

      2. But think of this, half of Americans have an IQ above average…this would be good news if America’s average IQ was only 10 points higher!

      3. IQ is a median score not an average.

    3. Most know it will cost something, just that someone else will pay for it.
      Hence the hatefest on billionaires by the Donkeys.

      1. That hatefest isn’t just on billionaires. It’s spread among the masses as being de rigor to hate on anyone who is perceived to have more than I do. After all, they must have taken it from me or someone like me. Right?

    4. No, it’s simpler than that. Most people would gladly mind their own business, but US governance has long since exceeded the threshold at which other people can get ahead by siccing government on you. Thus it becomes more profitable to retaliate, especially pre-emptively, against others before they retaliate against you.

      Sure, people want free stuff if others pay for it; who wouldn’t? But when it comes to government-given free stuff,people aren’t stupid or even especially greedy; they just know that other people are living off their taxes and work, so why should they do the same?

      1. “” Most people would gladly mind their own business,””

        Not so sure. Gossip is a big thing, and hearsay is all the rage these days.

        1. I don’t mean in personal lives,face to face. I mean as regards siccing government on other people. It’s easier to do that nowadays than mind your own business. It didn’t used to be like that.

        2. Que up the Kardashians and their ilk.

    5. They don’t see the the price. If someone else is paying for it they don’t care. Inflation and recession may result, but they don’t connect that to their free shit. Lines out the door at the medical center or five hour waits at the emergency room just prove to them that money is needed. They aren’t getting pinched for it.

      They aren’t stupid, they’re just ignorant.

      1. Sadly, far too many of them are both stupid and ignorant.

  3. try asking Americans about the widely reported growing enthusiasm for socialism.

    Try asking at the Thanksgiving feast, brought to you by capitalism.

    1. Positive views of socialism have risen to 65 percent among Democrats

      This is a frightening stat. Maybe charter flights to Venezuela could cure the problem?

      1. Because they don’t know what socialism is. Thanks to our horrible college systems. They think socialism is about getting free shit paid for with magic money. To them the problem with the Soviet Union, if they think about it at all, is not the socialism, but the totalitarianism. Not realizing that the totalitarianism was necessary to implement anything approaching a true socialism.

        I got into an argument on social media just last week with a dude who thinks the only thing wrong with Venezuela is all the external forces determined to see it failure. To him, Maduro wasn’t the problem, Wall Street was the problem.


      2. Maybe charter flights to Venezuela could cure the problem?

        Only if those are one-way tickets.

        1. Expecting the ideologically blinded to “see” Venezuela may be expecting a bit much. They are more likely to come back praising Maduro who will not let them see the squalor and misery he helped perpetuate there.

          1. “They are more likely to come back praising Maduro who will not let them see the squalor and misery he helped perpetuate there.”

            In order to show them something other than squalor and misery, he would have to take them to Honduras.

          2. Not if we send some of these politicians calling for such programs.

            But, as DarrenM said, only if they are one way tickets. Let them find and fund their own way back. That’s the ticket/

  4. “you can cut some existing programs”
    Thanks, I needed a good laugh to start Monday morning.

    1. “But where should we use this finely honed scalpel first? Where should we start trimming pennies from the budget?”

      Fuck the scalpel, use the woodchipper!

      1. Fuck the woodchipper, start with explosives.

      2. Hell, if they could just muster the balls to stop increasing the budget for a few years–not even cut anything, just hold spending steady for 4 or 5 years–revenues would tend to catch up to spending. The federal government has a pattern of spending annually about the same as revenues were about 5 years prior.

        Are we getting so much more from government today at $4T than we were getting 10 years ago for $2.5T?

  5. People want a government 5hst operates like indulgent, permissive parents. They want their costs paid for by others and no restrictions on their behavior. They balk when confronted by the fact that they are the productive people generating the wealth fed into a socialist system.

    1. “Hey, the government should pay for it!!” Newsflash: YOU are “the government”

      1. Right on Brother. But how many know of the writings of our Founding Fathers?
        Hell, they think we’re a ‘democracy’, and when I inform them that we’re a Representative Republic, they looked confused.
        Most don’t know their Rep in Congress, or the Senate..
        And they think that Obama should have just made guns illegal, as if he were God.
        That really is how stupid our fellow Americans have become.

        1. But, but, but………..the founding fathers are just a bunch of old, dead, white guys. No reason to give them credence.

    2. When you put is like that, it is fairly obvious that this is what they learned in the formative years; how they were raised. So they just want government to be in loco permissive parents; let me do my thing but send money.

      1. Sounds like a lot of my classmates from my college days.

      2. And never be told no for anything, and keep getting those participation trophies.

  6. If you cannot get society to accept the form of government you wish to impose, change the society.

  7. Bigger Government Almighty, “…but only so long as it doesn’t raise taxes, require tradeoffs, or interfere with private enterprise.”

    Well honestly now, WHAT is left, then? Branches and functions of Government Almighty, which serve to restrain and limit Government Almighty! Example: Courts that will actually fire and-or otherwise punish bad actors among cops, teachers, and other “public servants”! How about a “universal blacklist”, for starters, of all “public servants” who should NEVER be allowed to “serve” as such, ever again?

    Well anyway, here is ONE (the only one?) function of government that fits the bill!

    1. Why not re-education camps for those selfish bastards! They deserve it!

      1. They’ve gotta be educated before they can be re-educated, and if they really get educated, then they won’t need re-educating, i.e., the article should have pointed to the source of the ignorance – school indoctrination.

  8. Hey, it can be done: Tax that guy behind the tree.

  9. I see “spend and borrow” as a big part of the problem. If we taxed people at a rate appropriate for the services government provides we could then discuss the value of those service. Instead we provide the services on borrowed money and people feel not effect in their pocketbook. It is hard to argue against more spending when we are not covering for the services we now have. Why should it be any different if we spend more.

    1. this. bonding out anything that isn’t infrastructure/capital should not be allowed.

    2. “Why should it be any different if we spend more.”

      Because eventually the piper must be paid.

      1. But paying the piper is an abstraction and most people never consider it. Many people my age don’t worry about the debt figuring they will be dead before the bills come due. Many young people are busy with jobs and family to set aside time to worry about the debt. Most figure they will deal with it when the bills come due, assuming they are still around.

        1. And then there’s us Gen X slackers who were made for this shit, man! Bring it on!

          No, seriously, I don’t want them to do M4A or UBI, but if they do, I am well positioned to turn from a contributor into a taker. And with 2 decades until retirement, still young enough to enjoy all that free time!

          Bring it, dems! Haha.

          1. If they do M4A and/or UBI, I’m ready to retire. Meaning I can stop being a 6-figure taxpayer and start getting those free goodies!

    3. Along the same lines; show how much people are already paying in taxes. Many don’t have a clue what taxes, and how much they are already paying.

      Start by laying it out in their pay stubs..along with the dollar amount they pay in taxes, show the percentage of gross each line represents.

      A few years ago, my left leaning MIL attempted to give me an ear full of “people lying their fair share”. I asked her what she thought we, her daughter and I, paid each year in taxes. She wouldn’t venture to guess. When I told her it was around $45k-$50k each year, her jaw literally dropped. She had never made that much in a year of her working carrier.

      After a few minutes, she doubted my calculation. Luckily, everything is electronic nowadays, and I was able to break it down real time on my smart phone and show her some real numbers….then added on property tax, gas tax, cell phone tax, land line tax, electricity tax, isp tax, sales tax, rain tax, heating tax..etc..etc..

      Think about that mom. Each and every year I walk into a new car dealership, pick out a brand new, car, pay with cash, and without even opening the door to get a whiff of that new car smell, I take the keys and toss them into the river. That’s the equivalent I pay in taxes every year.

      She never mentioned it again.

    4. The fact that people have been effectively getting their big government at a discount for decades is part of what contributes to its popularity, I think. I agree that if people were constrained to paying the full cost up front rather than borrowing for it, we’d undoubtedly have a smaller government. As much as I think Grover Norquist has his heart in the right place, his “starve the beast” mantra assumed that politicians wouldn’t run the country into eventual economic ruin for short term political gain, and that is not now nor ever a safe bet. Holding taxes low might’ve helped a little, but public opinion never really supported higher levels of taxation anyway. What we need more than anything is a constitutional amendment compelling the government to adopt a balanced budget.

  10. There is a group of people who expect to be taken care of with no expense to them. We call them children.

    Adults have to work to pay for them.

    1. And dollars to donuts you will find that that portion of our society is exactly equal to the percentage that are all in favor of socialism and more government. It is what they know and expect.

  11. In other news, more Americans want unicorns….

    1. And really, really big, long-lasting erections.

      1. Dude, haven’t you seen the warnings with the Viagra et al adds?

        If an erection lasts more than 4 hours, you need to see a doctor, because if they don’t fix it, your willy could die from lack of blood flow.

  12. Libertarian won’t admit it, but most people are NOT libertarians. Most people WANT government.

    What confuses libertarians (myself included) is that government seems to be an economic good. The wealthier a society the more government it can afford and the more government it purchases. Modern US and European economies are so lavish they would have been unthinkable a few hundred years ago. Ancient governments may have had broader scope (the king can do anything), but modern government is far more intrusive into our pocketbooks.

    Consider the medieval serf. All but a slave, he owed his lord and master his labor. How much labor? Ten percent. But more than that would have killed the serf. Today it would kill most of government. Other pre-modern, pre-affluent societies had similar low levels of extraction. We are so wealthy today that we have levels of extraction that would literally starve the citizens in former centuries. (extraction not being synonymous with taxation, as it also includes debt, inflation, and other forms of confiscation).

    In short, we can afford more government, and so we have more government. And we’re still arguing over whether we should grow it faster or slower. Trump may have signed a minor tax cut but he ramped up deficits to an unheard of level. Warren wants to go further and spend tens of trillions on new programs. No on out there on either the Republican or Democrat side want to actually cut back spending. Such a thought would be political suicide. MOST people want more and more and more government.

    1. The basic political problem with Libertarianism is that you can’t buy enough votes with smaller government (however you care to define “smaller”).

      The status quo politicians, bureaucrats, and activists who derive their sustenance sucking on the government teat will do their best to hide the cost of government from most voters, either through a confusing tax system (think income tax withholding and “refunds”), or making it appear that someone else (the man behind the tree) is paying the taxes.

      1. Amen to both comments! It’s time for fair-tax; a yearly itemized bill for each and every citizen adjusted fairly not by how much they earn but by what service they benefit from.

        Mr. Rogers Bill
        International Defense (2-citizens @ 3-acres) – $300
        International Affairs (2-citizens) – $120
        Legal individual rights defense (2-citizens) – $30

        Bill Total: $450
        Due Date: April 15, 2018
        If you cannot pay the Bill by the Due date – please visit the “welfare” office.

        The End.

        1. or even better, we get to itemize how our taxes are spent:
          Mr. Rogers Allocation:
          DOJ: 40%
          DOD: 2%
          DOState: 3%
          DOI: 3%
          Everything else: 0%
          Yes, the math is right

          1. Although it sounds great; I think I’d steer away from that idea.

            “put your money where your mouth is” + “the more you make the more we’ll take” (current tax method) democracy is surely to = Turn !!! – money into legal controls over the country – !!!

            Ending up being a bought-en/purchased government that makes the laws.

            Really the conceptual FAULT is that of mobster democracy; be it tied to “majority of people” or “majority of money” of the two I’d have to go for “majority of people” so long as ………..AND HERE’S THE KICKER……….. The Constitutional (“Supreme Law”) must intercept and contain above and beyond such hog-wild democracy; which is the biggest problem in today’s governing system.

    2. “Most people WANT government.”

      Most people want lots of things that aren’t good for them.

      1. “Most people want lots of things that aren’t good for them.” — So long as they can “subsidize” the consequences onto someone else.

        There really isn’t hardly anyone who want lots of things that costs them crazy amounts of consequences except maybe the brain of a drugged out cocaine addict. “subsidizing” that addiction isn’t “helping them”.

        1. “There really isn’t hardly anyone who want lots of things that costs them crazy amounts of consequences”


          Bars do plenty of business, even in locations where the only way to get there (or home) is to drive.

          All kinds of people into various extreme sports that could get you dead in a hurry if something goes wrong.

          1. Pleanty of people want things that could get them dead.

            1. I guess my point was; If [WE] keep “subsidizing” the consequences of any behavior’s result; it is going to distort the natural risk vs reward/consequence of any specific behavior in question.

              It’s impossible to learn anything when every consequence is paid by someone else, every tear is followed with free ice cream and every successful creation reward is stolen.

    3. Until the costs to them are pointed out! Then, they want to forget about it.

  13. Millenials have been sheltered from responsibility their whole lives; told they can have something for nothing, and get a prize just for breathing. Why does it not surprise me that the trend is increasing towards wanting the government to do more? The amazing part is, if asked to pay for it, there actually is still some realization that stuff costs money.

    We’re screwed.

  14. I accept social security as the Evil Ponzi scheme It is, but pays Me money. I accept the mortgage Interest deduction as a market disruption. I accepted a solar tax credit even though it is contributing to wealth inequality by giving those who can afford solar money from those who cannot! I accept that my manipulative government often gets it wrong. But then it is of, for and by the people who are confused

    1. +1000000000000000; Well stated…

  15. “…but they’ll happily favor things that you tell them are nice, so long as they cost nothing.”

    All of Chief Liawatha’s talking points, summed up into 17 words

  16. That is what they said in Venezuela when they still had wealth.

  17. Don’t forget that 49% of the population pays no taxes.
    So if taxes have to go up, so what.
    it doesn’t affect me, and I get a better Obamaphone

    1. In what way does 49% pay no tax? If they work SS and Medicare are taken from there wages. If they drive they pay Federal and State gas tax. If they buy things at the store they will likely pay sales tax. If they own a house they likely pay property tax. While the working poor may pay less tax in absolute terms they could end up paying more as a percentage of income.

      1. LOL…. % of income??? I made $0 last year and paid $0 in taxes — THAT’S NOT FAIR!!! I paid 100% of my income in taxes!!!

        Good points though bringing up ALL the other taxing schemes. I’d like to see what would happen if ALL %-income/sales based taxes were switched to flat-bill rates (gas tax actually is about perfect) short of it’s not listed on your store receipt separately. People need to know these things – they don’t need to be hidden under the bed out of sight and out of mind.

        Today News — 50% of citizens are on welfare because the federal government costs so much it would bankrupted 50% of the citizens… NO MORE HIDING UNDER THE BED….

        Those 50% of politicians implementing “bankruptcy agendas” are outta here.

        1. Remember your math. You can not divide by zero and so 0 income with 0 taxes is not 100% tax rate.

          1. a zero denominator is representative of infinity, no matter the numerator value.

      2. 49% pay no Federal income taxes. As you point out, there are all sorts of ways the various levels of government bleed the public.

      3. The stat is widely understood to reference Federal Income Taxes. Stop being disingenuous, because it’s true (almost). Further despite what you say “If they work SS and Medicare are taken from there wages. “, for somewhere approaching 20% of filers, they receive more in refundable tax credits, esp. EITC, than they have removed in FICA taxes.

        So while somewhere around 44.5% of “tax units” have zero or negative federal income tax liability, 24.7% have zero or negative sum of federal income and payroll tax liability.

        Nearly 25% of people “paying into” Social Security are paying in with government (other taxpayers’) money.

  18. “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” Bastiat

    A shame people did learn the lesson when this was first spoken.

    1. At the DNC, “Get out your V-Clubs (Vote) boys; we got to go find another Peter to knock-off and steal because Paul want’s the new Obama-phone…”

      1. Oh crap… STOP!!! Don’t forget your fake-hallows… That was a close call; someone might get wise if they saw the horns and tail without the “righteous and caring” fake-hallows.

  19. Capitalism is not a synonym for free enterprise. Capitalism is a Marxist term, meaning or at least implying rule by capital.

    1. According to what? The Carl Marx Manifesto Dictionary?

      Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit.[1][2][3][4] Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets.[5][6] In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investments are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

  20. $23 trillion national debt, over $4 trillion yearly federal spending and over $3 trillion yearly state and local spending has to be financed by both parents working and soon will require all children to get jobs as well. Enjoy democratic socialism, it’s FREE.

    1. Of the $4T, about $2.8T is entitlement spending and $0.3T is interest on the debt. That’s $1T for all the rest of the government, including the military (which gets the largest chunk of the discretionary spending).

  21. And what IDIOT believes that you can have bigger government for no additional cost??

    What a bunch of MORONS!!

    1. Not so much morons as over-sized children. I find it quite normal for children to have no economic sense. They do not understand how things must be paid for, just that mommy and daddy supply things.

      The real shame is that we have so many people older than 18 that do not understand this. Plus truly retarded actual communist wanna-bees.

  22. The Marxists have accomplished at least one tenet of the Communist Manifesto. Dumb down the population and turn them into brain dead zombies. Then again, as long as the government can borrow into eternity, they will eventually have everyone working for the government one way or another. Or, beholden to the government goose that lays the golden egg.

  23. Anyone else notice how the left talks about huge spending programs in a vacuum, i.e., one program at a time? They evade explaining costs by passing them off as the rich will be taxed to pay. Perhaps an article would be in order that discusses the total costs of a large package of spending bills proposed by the many blind mice on stage for 2020.

    And while on the subject, it is long past time to start requiring that every bill that is proposed in Congress contain a detailed statement of foreseeable harmful effects, and its impacts on all groups, not merely the target groups in the spending bill. For example, if a bill is about “fixing” social security (like it or not, it will be around for a while longer) the bill should discuss the impacts on social security recipients AND everyone who is not on social security.

  24. I also assume that those who want more government assume it will be under their party, with a strong bias on their desired issues and solutions. Are these the same morons who cheered when Obama flexed executive office muscle but then shit their pants when Trump took over?

  25. The very title of this article indicates the abject economic ignorance of “More Americans,” not to mention loons like Liawatha, Burnout, Creepy Uncle Joe, and the rest. To quote Robert Heinlein, “TANSTAAFL (Heinlein, The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, 1966). There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, something EVERY sane graduate of Econ 101 understands. Or have I missed something. Has Liawatha actually convinced whoever takes her gig at Harvard to do it for free?

  26. Define Modern American Thought: I don’t mind Capitalism…as long as everyone earns the same…

  27. More of the same old chestnuts and talking points. A Medicare For All as suggested by Elizabeth Warren would result in $26 trillion in taxes? You forgot the “for a 10 year period” part, didn’t you.

    You also forgot the fact that replacing a profit-based healthcare insurance model with a non-profit government one would result in nationwide savings. Why? Because the profits in the private healthcare insurance model would be gone. That means the eight-figure annual salaries of the CEOs of the top 10 healthcare insurers.

    Who’d ever think an employee, which is what a CEO is, would be paid in scores of millions every year? That’s why it’s so expensive.

    Also, to be perfectly clear, social welfare programs are NOT socialism. They were developed to stem socialism. Read your history books. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot of incompetent citizens believing that, if we want to address market failure in terms of millions of American unable to purchase private healthcare insurance, we have to become commies.

    What a stupid thing to think.

    1. “ You also forgot the fact that replacing a profit-based healthcare insurance model with a non-profit government one would result in nationwide savings. Why? Because the profits in the private healthcare insurance model would be gone. That means the eight-figure annual salaries of the CEOs of the top 10 healthcare insurers.”

      Government run groceries, auto manufacturers, farm production and energy should do the same thing then. Hasn’t worked out well in the past.

      At least in theory Marx suggested that the workers would control the means of production but that never happens. Instead you get Venezuela.

      Those CEOs get paid to lower cost and keep premiums competitive. If you don’t think they negotiate with providers look at your bill.

      I have worked in government funded institutions. To think they are cost efficient is delusional.

      The only way to lower cost for medical care is to deny or limit services, limit prescription drug coverage, and funding for new techniques and technologies. Medicine was cheap in the 1950s but there was not much it could do compared to today.

      1. If echospinner is a non-troll, he seems far too willing to peasant himself and his descendants to the rent seekers who keep us alive – provided they are not forced to negotiate their rates with someone who has actual negotiating power.

        Kaiser makes an understandable case for single payer, and neither Marx nor Engels makes an appearance.

        1. Because Marx and Engels, wrong as they were, at least tried in theory to turn workers into vested owners. Medicare for all does not do that. You still pay for people who cannot afford. You have not owned it you, the payer are now serfs.

          There are arguments for single payer. All of them turn the people who “keep us alive” into virtual slaves of the state.

          The community hospital or doc where you live will continue to exist or not. It will depend on a non negotiable forced fixed schedule of payment, approved or non approved procedures and treatments, all driven by elected politicians, the most craven creatures among us. We know how well that works.

          What we have is not by any means free, fair nor easy. There is no reason to destroy employer based insurance. It works for many people. If you do that you will find unacceptable consequences. Better a mixed system.

          Remember both demand and supply curves here are inelastic. Suppliers want to provide everything possible. Patients when it hits want the same thing.

          It is a social choice not based on any sort of imaginary right.

          I do reluctantly support a Medicaid system to reimburse providers if at a low rate to care for indigent patients. That is for humanitarian reasons.

          Remember that the medical and political systems if they become one entity is a terrible mix. They do not think the same.

      2. “replacing a profit-based healthcare insurance model with a non-profit government one would result in nationwide savings. Why? Because the profits in the private healthcare insurance model would be gone.”

        What in the world makes you think government is “non-profit”. Don’t you think government employees get a paycheck? I’ll bet any CEO’s paycheck is less than the combined wages of government paper-pushers who’s job is utterly useless.

        Besides that point — Hey, what the heck is STOPPING anyone from starting this “non-profit” insurance company?? If SOOO many people think it’s such a good idea WHY THE HECK can’t they just go DO IT?!??!??!! Are they so utterly helpless they cannot even start their own insurance company without the King?

        In the end-sum game; what is realized is our government has completely monopolized healthcare, healthcare insurance and healthcare service to a point that any idea not implemented by the almighty King will be blocked by the almighty King. The King holds the healthcare monopoly and no-one is allowed to compete with the King.

        And yet; in some delusional minds – giving the king EVERYTHING will somehow fix this….. Down with the king — Up with free enterprise…. That we know works from a million and one examples.

    2. Are you serious?

      You could strip the executive pay of the top ten healthcare insurers to pay down U.S. debt and it wouldn’t make a dent. In fact, you could steal the wealth of the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the U.S. and it wouldn’t make a dent in the federal deficit.

      Besides, how many of the top 10 are non profit? Just like the government. Right?

      Top 25 U.S. Health Insurance Companies, By Market Share

      Unitedhealth Group
      Wellpoint Inc. Group
      Kaiser Foundation Group
      Humana Group
      Aetna Group
      HCSC Group
      Cigna Health Group
      Highmark Group
      Coventry Corp. Group
      HIP Insurance Group
      Independence Blue Cross Group
      Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Group
      Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Group
      California Physicians’ Service
      Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Group
      Health Net of California, Inc.
      Centene Corp. Group
      Carefirst Inc. Group
      Wellcare Group
      Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Group
      UHC of California
      Lifetime Healthcare Group
      Cambia Health Solutions Inc.
      Metropolitan Group
      Molina Healthcare Inc. Group

      I know that United is. And so is Kaiser. Aetna isn’t.

  28. Margret Thatchers axiom……Socialism is great until you run out of OPM………still true and will always be…

  29. Yeah, that what they say. But, I know there are few people can tell the difference.

    Singapore also having some kind of issues. I learned about it after moving to

  30. Giving Thanks

    “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” -Lord Acton (1834-1902)

    This Thanksgiving Day, any thinking citizen should give thanks that he still has some shred of freedom remaining to oppose Big Government. After all, who comprises government? Power-hungry politicians and self-serving bureaucrats. These are the people whom you want to rule your lives?

    Like lawyers, government is a necessary evil; therefore, it should be as limited as practicable. That statement is neither just personal opinion nor abstract ideology. It has a scientific foundation, as presented in the recent novel, Retribution Fever.

    So, perhaps you might take a moment this Thanksgiving Day to consider the following three, basic, philosophical questions:

    Who am I? What am I? Where am I? The last will involve this nation in which you live.

    See “Thanksgiving In The New America” at … .

  31. So, Reason, I see you’ve reached the “If you can’t win with logic, attack your adversaries’ intelligence” page of the GOP’s handbook. No one wants free stuff. Okay, everybody wants free stuff, but the only people who EXPECT it are the obscenely over-paid politicians, billionaires, the war-mongers, the police (or are those last two redundant?), the prison-builders, who have only come to expect free stuff because THEY’VE ALWAYS HAD IT.

  32. Free government spending has become a drug for the masses. The USA federal and state governments spend almost without limits. The USA currently has a dream economy with high employment, rising wages, low inflation, and rising equity markets. Despite several market downturns (most severe and slow recovery was during Obama), the overall economy has been very strong for almost 40 years. Even in normal times, I would question the ability to continue the projected levels of government spending without a day of reckoning.

    Despite the strength of the economy and the enormous levels of government spending, demands for increased government spending grow (free health care, university education, housing, …). Then we have increasing demands to decarbonize the economy with government control of the energy and transportation sectors. Democrats have plans to destroy a very productive industry (oil/NG) and replace it with very inefficient energy production (and highly unreliable). As a conservative, I see every election as crucial to stop Democrats from starting the economy into an abyss.

  33. Too many people have yet to learn that any government big enough to give you anything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have.

    THINK, people!!

  34. Regarding Most Americans want bigger government- If it’s free, you must be kidding. Since when was any sort of government “free”. Government is costly, and the bigger government is or becomes, the more expensive it gets. Concerning anyone trying to sell a bill of goods that says otherwise should be looked on with suspicion.

  35. Rajasthan Police Constable Department is going to recruit for 5,000 constable posts, whose recruitment process is going on. Official notification has been issued after the recruitment process is complete. Here you are being informed about the important dates related to the Rajasthan Police Constable Important Date so that you have the convenience in preparing for the exam. Candidates are advised to submit their form online before the last date based on the following date in Rajasthan Police.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.