Andy McCarthy had a much cited post here the other day about how the Democrats are pressing ahead with healthcare out of deep-seated desire to fundamentally transform the relationship between citizens and government. This is a longstanding theme around here (and of LF). The aim of progressivism since at least FDR has been to turn citizens into clients. Under the conservative vision, governments depend on citizens to maintain their legitimacy, not to mention their revenue. Under the progressive vision, clients depend on the state for legitimacy and, increasingly, revenue.
Anyway, I thought of all this when I saw this from the Washington Times. The highlighted part has to be one of the most depressing sentences of the year:
Without record levels of welfare, unemployment and other government benefits as well as tax cuts last year, the income of U.S. households would have plunged by an astonishing $723 billion — more than four times the record $167 billion drop reported last month by the Commerce Department.
Moreover, for the first time since the Great Depression, Americans took more aid from the government than they paid in taxes.