April 14th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is the end of the nanny state in the U.S. inevitable?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

At least one in six people in the United States gets government handouts: unemployment insurance, food stamps, Medicaid, rent subsidies, you name it. And lots of Americans get money from more than one of these programs.

Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas says we simply cannot afford all the entitlement and welfare programs we currently have. Paul, one of the few voices of reason in Washington when it comes to our debt crisis, is predicting an end to the nanny state in this country.

Paul wrote this on his website on Tuesday:

"Instead of dealing seriously with our situation, so many in Washington would rather allow the chaos that will ensue when all of the dependent people are suddenly cut off. Better to...tell people the difficult truth that government is simply not capable of managing people's lives from cradle to grave as was foolishly promised."

He's right. Think about it. When many of our ancestors came here generations ago, there were no welfare programs like food stamps or rent subsidies. And yet the poor and uneducated, people from places like Italy and Ireland who didn't even speak English, managed to survive and in time actually thrive and prosper in this country.

Back when we had no federal Department of Education our schools were the best in the world. Now they're among the worst.

Before the Department of Housing and Urban Development, our cities were bustling centers of progress and economic growth. Now many of them are in decay or decline with growing poverty and shrinking opportunity. See Detroit. But when people like Paul Ryan talk about cutting government spending on some of this stuff the Democrats get apoplectic.

Here’s my question to you: Is the end of the nanny state in the U.S. inevitable?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David in Laguna Niguel, California:
Not until the dollar totally collapses. As along as over half the population pays no taxes, the politicians will continue to buy their votes with the other 49 percent's money. When it takes a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread, things will finally change.

Roy in Jacksonville, Florida:
It is amazing that this nation, which was built upon its citizens carving out homes, farms and enterprises in the wild wilderness on their own grit and determination, now has about half its citizens on federal handouts at the expense of about 2% of its fellow citizens. We have become a nation where a small group of enablers thinks that they have the right to take other peoples money and give it away to others solely for the sake of themselves acquiring and keeping power.

Pat in Michigan:
It better be or we are done for. You gotta work for your supper. Even if you take less to start with.

The nanny state is an absolute requirement for a just society. The recent proposals by the rich and powerful to dismantle the most basic of social programs, if implemented, will almost certainly cause chaos and widespread civil disobedience in America. Corporate tax evasion and grossly low income taxes for those with an easy ability to pay are chipping away the social safety net through the back door.

Kevin in New Hampshire:
Before the nanny state can end, we're going to have to go back to the world our great-grandparents knew: a local community that needs everyone to produce its own food, its own services, its own transportation, its own education. That gives everyone a job and a very modest livelihood. Goodbye interstates, massive corporations, and everything being bought from Wal-Mart. You can't have one without the other.

Open your eyes. Hello! Most civilized, developed countries are doing fine; except us. Look at Canada, Norway, etc. They pay taxes and live without the damn drama. I'm tired of all this right wing stuff. I'm willing to pay more taxes to be civilized and compassionate. Are you?

Filed under: United States
soundoff (227 Responses)
  1. Russ in PA

    Of course, although the corporations, people and politicians that benefit from the nanny state will fight like crazy to keep it going. But the death of the dollar will guarantee the death of the nanny state, and those of us that have been saving and living within our means will feel the pain as well...
    Ron Paul in 2012...

    April 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  2. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Yes the end of the nanny state is near. Ron paul has it right. In spite of what obama says he will end the nanny state and call it a bipartisan negotiation.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  3. Patrick

    I wish it were. Let the free market and the charity of kind souls work.
    The Federal government should not be involved in the personal affairs of every individual. Look at the state of the socialized European nations.

    Mays Landing, NJ

    April 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  4. william b.

    I would like to say so but it won't be for a while because of the state of the economy. Congress or l should say republicans have allowed corporations to flourish on the backs of the middle and lower classes. They talk about cutting down spending but it amazes me they are saying nothing about what will be cut, should say we it's the midterms all over again with scare tactics and paranoia. When we stop allowing corporations not just oil corporations but wall street, automotive, and financial planning companies to slide from not paying taxes and maybe give the common man a breather then and maybe then will the nanny occupation end. – Nashville, TN

    April 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  5. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Under republicans it will soon be exactly that. They accuse democrats trying to redistribute wealth, apparently there's something evil about having a middle class, their belief being there should be wealthy and paupers. Some will afford health care, the other's will die. The pauper will go off and die in the wars the wealthy profit from, but do not attend. Look for legislation to make all education a personal matter, if you can afford the expense, fine. The repeal of Medicare, unemployment benefits, and Social Security are on the agenda. Oddly, many American's mistakenly believe this regress is beneficial. Republicans what the country to be on course to become a 3rd world country. No one has to go to Afghanistan or Iraq to fight anyone who wants to harm this country, they're already in Congress and have their own quasi-propaganda "news" network.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  6. Bradley, Portland, OR

    If you're talking about a welfare state for individuals, we don't have one. We have the worst social safety net of any industrialized country in the world.

    If you're talking about corporate welfare, though, then I agree that we can't afford it anymore. No more subsidies for oil companies, agriculture, or mining. No more tax deductions for shipping jobs overseas.

    Something is wrong when we have a tax system where two thirds of US companies pay no federal income tax, including companies with multi-billion dollar profits, like GE, Exxon, and Bank of America.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  7. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, people form governments for mutual protection. The preamble to our constitution tells us that is the reason our founding fathers formed our government. Do not Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, the EPA and the various Civil Rights laws fit under that umbrella? Any society that does not look after its elderly and truly underpriviledged isn't worth fighting for.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  8. Ron Moss

    Of course it is not inevitable that the US adopts a rule of every man for himself. We still have a chance to be like the patriots who realized that our Nation is greater than our selves and were willing to invest in the things that made our Nation great, like the Louisiana Purchase, the Railroads, the Telegraph, the Telephone, the Interstate Highway System, and the Internet, to say nothing of the Men and Women who have sacrificed their lives so we could have a Nation strong enough to keep us free. Republicans seem to believe it is every man for himself and let the buyer beware. I have never known these to be, and I hope these have not become, American Values.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  9. Frank from NJ

    No Jack the end of the United States that we grew up in is inevitable. The amount of people getting something from the Government is too tempting for Politicians to resist. Why blame McDonald's for seducing customers by combining salt, fat and carbs to make a profit when Government combines entitlements, benefits and the promise of leisure to gain power? Rome bankrupted itself by trying to placate the population with extravagance . We will fall in the same way. The barbarians are at the gates. And it doesn't look like there is anyone guarding them.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  10. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    Nanny state?! That's a good one. When you rank last among first world nations, and 37th overall in terms of health care, you're falling some what short of a nanny state.

    When Wall Street can get away with victimizing customers with stocks and bonds designed to fail, you're not living in a nanny state.

    When the Big Oil buys corporate welfare legislation , you are in the wild west, not in any nanny state.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    Having s social saftey net that cares for the sick, the unforunate, and the old, is what I always though was supposed to make us superior to other cultures. I always though that the rich paying more of their taxes than the poor made America strong because it kept everyone afloat and willing to participate in our consumerist/capitalist culture.

    I Guess I was wrong and the Jesus loving Republicans are right-it's every man for himself.

    Perhpas if I just start loving Jesus I could learn to hate my fellow man with the proper vigor.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  12. John from Alabama

    Jack: Nanny's take care of small children for people who can afford a live-in nanny. If the very rich want nanny's it will remain the nanny state. I hope this nation has more important questions to answer than this question.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  13. Sylvia from San Diego

    I hope so and the sooner people realized that, WE ARE BROKE, the sooner we will all come together to fix this mess. Obama's budget proposal is just more of the "nanny state" that we can no longer aford.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  14. Johnny C (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    As long as our politicians follow their current path, the good old USA will always be a nanny-state. We (the People) will see policies where the state is perceived as being excessive in its desire to protect , govern or control particular aspects of our society. Just like a true "nanny", they will protect us (their children).

    But sometines, though rare, the good nanny will listen to the children and amend their ways. If they do take this holistic perspective, maybe, just maybe, our government officials will relax their oversight and not want to control everything they possibly can. After all, this is America, where the strength is in the People and their ability to mitigate risks to a better end, not solely through our democratic representation.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  15. pat in mi.

    It better be or we are done for. you gotta work for your supper . even if you take less to start with.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  16. Tony from Southport

    The "Nanny State" title and use by many in the media gives the impression that Social Security and Medicare are a large part of the "Nanny State" just like Medicaid, food stamps and other giveaway programs.

    Sorry, but that's not quite accurate even though there are those on the left who try to spin it that way to make it appear that those on the right cherry pick social programs they support.

    Working people contribute to both Social Security and Medicare through payroll deductions their whole working lives. At retirement, Medicare premiums are deducted from the Social Security checks, so you are STILL paying for Medicare, even though the premiums may only be around a $100.00 per month.

    Will the "Nanny State" come to an end? No, but the services will be reduced and the costs, taken from working people in the form of taxes, and retired people through higher premiums and less Social Security income, will increase. Those who are the most needy will rightfully continue to receive needed benefits.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  17. Dennis Fisher Ontario, Canada.

    The Republican Party, as driven by the Tea Party,will end the nanny state.That will condemn millions of Americans to live without health coverage and deny children the necessary care to advance in life.
    For a nation which spends so much on foreign undertakings not to care for its most vulnerable citizens does not stand the U.S. in good stead.
    It is a sad commentary when their necessities of life are denied to satisfy egotistical aims of selfish, indulgent politicians.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Kim - Canada

    Hmmm, what is the inscription on the Statue of Liberty again? Pretty sure it has something to do with taking care of the sick and the poor. America needs to join the rest of the westernized nations in the world in realizing that a committed 'social contract' that ensures a minimum common denominator for provision of supportive services to its citizens, is NOT anathema to successful enterprise, or a successful economy.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Depends on how things are structured. You can set aside funds for individuals, or you can lump funds together. You can tax, and reserve, or you can tax and not reserve.

    There is no doubt whatsoever, that the federal government has its own reasons for wanting to keep funds at its own disposal. That could, however, change, at some point in time.

    One thing is for certain.......the free ride for the poor, on the taxes of the middle class, will be over, as the middle class is about to become non-existent, as they transition into the upper layers of the poor.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Yes I think it is as long the republicans and tea party members insist on making cuts affecting the middle class and not raising the taxes on the most wealthy.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  21. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Canada)

    The nanny state is an absolute requirement for a just society.
    The recent proposals by the rich and powerful to dismantle the most basic of social programs, if implemented, will almost certainly cause chaos and widespread civil disobedience in America.
    Corporate tax evasion and grossly low income taxes for those with an easy ability to pay are chipping away the social safety net through the back door.
    Given that President Obama and so many in Congress are now focused on their 2012 re-election, positive action of any kind appears remote. They will all bend over backwards to promise America what they think will get votes, but they will accomplish nothing.
    A wasted year and a half looms ahead.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  22. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think so Jack. Many people buy into suckling the governments udder and depending on the government to make life decisions for them. Some think that if the government says it is so then it is without question. Unfortunately the bad thing about all this nanny government stuff is that the people most often paying for all these things the government wants for it's citizens are the same people that do not want or utilize them in the first place. Eventually the government will run out of utters to suckle and that time is rapidly approaching.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  23. Richard

    Nanny state, Jack? What's that?
    If you're referring to gov't programs that we the people have contributed to and those programs, that for decades, Congress after Congress has decided to support, there is no nanny state.
    Nanny state? Did Lou Dobbs write this question for you?


    April 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  24. Joe R - Houston

    When you realize that nanny state politicians in search of Utopia have consistently bankrupted their own noble pursuits in the belief that increasing currency is the same thing as increasing value... Yes. It's inevitable.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  25. Roy Birdzell

    Hopefully, but doubtful. It's amazing that this nation, which was built upon its citizens carving out homes, farms and enterprises in the wild wilderness on their own grit and determination, now has about half its citizens on federal handouts at the expense of about 2% of its fellow citizens and wanting more. We have become a nation of enablers and nanny addicts, with that smalll group of enablers thinking that they have the right to take other peoples money and give it away to others solely for the sake of themselves acquiring power and keeping power.

    Roy, Jacksonville Fl

    April 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  26. David , Laguna Niguel CA


    Not until the dollar totally collapses. As along as over half the population pays no taxes, the politicians will continue to buy their votes with the other 49 percent's money. When it takes a wheel barrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread things will finally change.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  27. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    The notion that the US grew up from rugged individuals guarding their families with flintlock rifles is a myth. From Colonial days, provisions were made to care for the poor and infirm. Only in those periods when robber barons and mega-moguls hoarded the majority of the wealth, like today, were the poor subject to the greatest abuse. We can afford to be compassionate. Instead, we get the Republican Party, dedicated to coddling the rich, torturing the poor, and poisoning our children.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  28. Pete in Georgia

    Well America is changing at warp speed, due to several factors. When you go back to our birth 235 years ago to today, it's been a non stop freight train.

    Someone once said that the only thing that NEVER changes is change itself.

    Let's hope it's all good.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  29. Richard

    Jack, by nanny state you must mean the state in which corporations have legislators in their pockets and their hands out for every subsidy, tax break, relocation allowance, royalty relief, and exemption they can get. You could also be referring to the two-tiered justice system we have in which common criminals go to jail and corporate criminals (Goldman Sachs, big banks who blew up the economy, Halliburton, Xe, etc.) pay a fine and go on their way. Is there any bigger nanny state?

    April 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  30. Metalworker

    What is a Nanny state?If I pay into a insurance fund to provide a defined sum for as long as I may live, and I Pay an ever increasing sum for ,say fifty five years. Why I would not call that a Nanny Fund.

    If the moneys I paid over that 55 yrs was used to provied tax breaks for the well to do abd so none was left to give to me, why I would call that a theft and fraud.

    I never knew there was a Nanny state. Almost every one went to state school, drive on state roads and eat state subsidised foods. Put state owned gas in thier autos and heat thier homes with state funded gas and oil. We pay for it twice. So I guess if there is a Nanny, it is us

    Louis in La Salle

    April 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  31. Bob D Iowa

    The House of Representatives just finished their vote and yes the Nanny Vote has won. Why is it that the Party of Less Government Control wants MORE CONTROL but not in the way of Taxing the Wealthy and Corporations?

    April 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm |

    tampa, fl the end to our politicians unlimited spending spree will occur no matter how much they cut the programs we legal, american taxpayers paid for and expect from a civilized nation. they can't provide universal health care due to their spending the funds previously collected, their waste, the fraud, and their bend over backwards attempts to give it all away as fast as possible. obama's aunt, the illegal alien who was here for 7 years and not deported, but now is citizen on medicare is a prime example.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    Is the end of the nanny state in the U.S. inevitable?

    I sure hope not. People forget why it is we as a nation developed Welfare. It was meant to be a safety net for our elderly, disabled and children. Every time I hear that this needs to end because we can't afford it my skin crawls. We can afford to pay for "defense" contracts, no bid contracts, give corporation tax free status and yet we can't take care of those in our nation that need it?

    I think that abled bodied folks on the dole should be giving back to their community verses sitting on their backsides. Picking up trash, mowing parks, etc..

    People have forgotten that ones nation is only as strong as its weakest citizens.

    You want to talk Death Panels – well this would be the result of getting rid of the "Nanny State". MILLIONS WOULD DIE and those so called Republican CHRISTIANS wouldn't bother to shed a single tear!

    Roseville CA

    April 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  34. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Only to an extent to where waste and inefficiency are curtailed.

    The good old days were not the good old days as you like to describe here. Far more people died in the streets and alleys, the poor and old were institutionalized, there were sweat shops and child labor, and the uneducated and illiterate were a great percentage of this country.

    Now we can go back to that patriarchal time, or we can improve on what we have now, but we must get away from this all or nothing mentality. It is not the concepts of these government programs or institutions, but how they have become bloated over the years, they can be repaired.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  35. Jane (Minnesota)

    You are comparing apples and oranges; the immigrants you are referring to succeeded in a simpler time when the deck wasn't stacked against them by the top 1% of the population and the too big to fail corporations. As long as the current redistribution of wealth and power upward are allowed to continue unchecked – there HAS to be safety nets for those of the 90% that haven't shared in the prosperity. America used to have a compassionate soul for the downtrodden – is that disappearing too?

    April 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  36. Jamie in St. Louis

    I hope so Jack. People need to remember that America is the land of opportunity and not the land of a free ride. A lot of these programs take away any incentive to work hard and have a sense of personal responsibility. Instead of helping people, we're crippling them generation after generation and in turn depriving ourselves as a nation of what could be some very productive citizens. I don't know if Democrats are naive bleeding hearts or blatantly bribing people for votes but something has to change. Aren't these the same people that lowered the tax breaks for charitable giving. I just don't get it. But, I guess I don't need to. The government has it all figured out and they're looking out for me.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  37. Richard C.

    The less fortunate must be cared for but not by targeting the few. The country screams for a flat tax which will affect everyone. If you spend more, you pay more taxes. Stop the wars; limit foreign welfare and keep our money in the USA. This is a no-brainer!
    Malvern, PA.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  38. Mike in Denver

    Jack, you just glossed over the elusive answer! When most of our ancestors arrived here, there were no handout programs. As immigrants, they worked long and hard, received little compensation and were happy to get it. Self reliance and perseverance were the keys to survive. Now those keys are all but gone, replaced by endless handouts that only encourage sloth, and will bankrupt our country.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  39. Joe Tyrrell

    What we can't afford is to let these people drift further into poverty. The fat cats like this Congressman need to reefaluate their own enlightened self-intrest..

    April 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  40. s in fl

    I hope so, Jack. Americans are getting extremely tired of playing nursemaid to corporate tax-dodgers, Wall Street economic terrorists and deadbeat millionaires. Time we cut them loose and let the sink or swim or their own. Maybe then their crybaby stockholders will skip their daily round of golf, get a real job and actually produce something like most hard-working Americans.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  41. Wm, Penna


    Yes the "nanny" state will come to an end.

    2% or so of the wealthiest of us pay 64% but have 96% of the income. These top earners want to CUT their tax rate!

    Most U. S. Corporations do NOT pay taxes. GE, Inc. for example, made 14+ BILLION dollars in profit, cut over 1000 American jobs and received cash back (corporate welfare) of 3.9 Billion dollars. No tax but great welfare.

    Since the wealthy can propagandize us normal but stupid citizens we will get just what we vote for: New F35 aircraft that are not worthy and not wanted and the continuation of 3 wars against those with resources our corporate executives want.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  42. David in Tampa

    Jack, Government can't do it all and the corporate state will only do as little as they absolutely have to and only for their employees. What we have now can be traced to those programs trying to rectify ills from the Great Depression, now being mirrored in the Great Recession. Trying to do it all is economic folly but to do nothing is cruel and heartless. Maybe our political and economic leaders should live on the streets for a year and beg for food and do some real fact finding for a change.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  43. thom richer

    Not when we ship jobs overseas, pay non-living wages, take from the poor to give to the rich, bust unions, erode worker's rights, make education too expensive for the middle and lower classes and for the elite only. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is inevitable nanny states will continue to grow unless we provide employment and wages for all.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    April 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  44. gwtripp

    There are people out there who need a helping hand from time to time. I drew unemployment for a short while when I was between jobs, a system I paid into as an employee, I might remind you. Social Security and Medicare are also both paid into by the employee as a kind of insurance premium. Many a poor old grandmother would be without food or heating without the assistance of those programs. Nanny state, indeed. Enlisted men and their families are on food stamps. Look around you and you would be surprised how tough times are. "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" Let's close our foreign bases and put an end to foreign aid and welfare for the rich before we start picking the pockets of the poor please.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  45. andyz Lynn, MA

    Since the new deal, America has been a socialist state. Now that I am in my sixties I wonder what will happen to those my age when we have counted on these social programs for our entire lives only to have them stopped. Will the benevolent government refund all the money I've paid into social security? Medicare? I see a huge class action suit against the government. Let's give all our citizens the same taxes, benefits, perks and programs that our members of congress receive.That will be the day!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  46. Kea from Honolulu

    The whole system needs to be reformed. Heck, people need to be reformed as well! There are some collecting unemployment because they refuse to lower themselves to work at McDonalds, or physical labor in the fields. Those are paying jobs, and there are openings, but people have too much pride to do such work. That's why many immigrants take those jobs instead of Americans, but I'll save that argument is for another Cafferty File.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  47. Gordon NJ

    Jack, when did you start channeling Ebenezer Scrooge? Do we really want to bring back workhouses and debtors prisons? We have public programs to help the poor because we don't want people dropping dead of starvation on Firth Avenue or angry mobs rioting on Wall Street. The biggest Nanny problem we have in America is the spoiled business leaders who pay no taxes and have lunch with members of congress. Let's get rid of all the corporate welfare and agricultural subsidies. The amount of money spent on food stamps and housing assistance is peanuts by comparison.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  48. Allison from Vancouver

    "nanny state". REALLY? It's not OK to take care of your citizens? Civilized countries take care of their oldest ,weakest, and less advantaged. Usually these countries don't spend trillions of dollars waging wars and funding military bases all over the world.I am so thankful that I'm Canadian.!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  49. Ralph Spyer

    The super rich in America pay little or no taxes ,the poor pay little or no taxes. We have 3 wars going , that are eating up our national treasury. In Chicago mercy homes get federal money to rehab older homes,they take 10% off the top, they buy a old run down building ,say they pay 150,000 dollars it always cost more than they plan ,new roof new HVAC,new Elect,ect. say they put another 200,000 into the building. They sell it for only say 150,000 to a poor person with 3% down. This is how our money is spent. this is not the free market

    April 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  50. Ken from California

    You mention the immigrants that managed to survive and in time actually thrive and prosper in this country. They came to this country for the jobs that where here. Today those same jobs have been sent to other countries like where they came from, therefor those countries can afford a Nanny State where we can't anymore.

    After a Nanny state we can look forward to those don't have, taking away from those who have. Isn't the Nanny state that has kept the masses from the doors of who have? It is in the history books.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  51. Karl in Flint

    Our nanny state is really the poor and middle class taking care of themselves. The wealthy and corporate America haven't put a dime into it. We are good at building things, like highways, retirement and social systems, but we aren't good at maintaining them. The systems was created to help people help themselves, but no one really cared and let the system languish. Everyone knew the baby boomers would be retiring now, but no one ever thought to adjust the system to accommodate it. Now our poor and old are being blamed for the inability of our government to keep up with the times over the years.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  52. Dave

    Unemployment benefits are actually insurance, which is paid for by employers. If you exclude this from your statistic, about 1 in 20 or 5% of the poplulation is recieving some sort of benefit, and many of those are children. If we cut off benefits we could get the number even lower because I am sure many of them would die.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  53. John in Phoenix

    The nanny state will last as long as we can get China and other nations to keep lending us trillions of dollars. When they decide to pull the plug on that, the easy ride for us will come to a screeching halt. It will not be pretty. Ron Paul is right - better to make the hard choices now and implement them over time rather than having it all fall apart at once.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  54. Mr. D

    Hey buddy, can you spare a dime? The cookie jar is empty. This might be the best thing to happen to this country. We will all have to "work for our supper", while big government fades into the sunset.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  55. Dennis northcarolina

    we need to end welfare as it is in its present state. helping people with medical or mental condition which prevents a person to earn a living is society responsibility. a healthy person should support themselves. there is to much corruption in the present system so a major change is needed. question is can the republicans do this because Ron Paul and his son are only two people?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  56. Paul

    I was born in 45 & to answer your question

    Not in my lifetime!

    A very poor legacy for my generation!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Robby Bowling

    . This claptrap utopian social experiment is over. Were broke, you can't pay for pie in the sky programs with no money. If you take all the money from all the rich it will only make a down payment on our debt.This social engineering & finger pointing is politics at its stereo-typical worst. We can't pay for illegal immigrants, welfare, medicaid,medicare, social security, General Motors ,AIG, all the banks, three wars, sending money to corrupt governments, & congressman, senators, & a president & family with all their entitlements too. And we're paying them to screw us.Its over Denton, Texas

    April 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  58. Ann from Charleston SC

    We can only hope. However,calling it the "nanny state" will only set people's teeth on edge, making them dig in their heels all the harder. We need to be more respectful of the point of view of those with whom we disagree if we hope to make any changes in anything. Of course, the whole purpose of this blog is to get the snarky in us going.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  59. Bob from Maine

    Jack: Maybe our goal should be to have a better Nanny state. Most of the other industrial countries do a far better job taking care of their citizens than we do. Perhaps, we should stop trying to eliminate government programs and focus on how to make them better. Of course we will have to pay more. But wouldn't be nice to know that your children were going to get a good education, that you will receive medical care when you need it and that someone will care for you when you can no longer care for yourself.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  60. h. marsh

    If the nanny state isn't doomed than america will be.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  61. Charm O'Connor

    I sincerely hope so. The sooner the better.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  62. David Loayza

    It's funny to say that "gov't and the people can't afford certain programs for the ones that needed" especially once the bulk of the wealth has been put in the hands of very few.

    It's like cheating the entire time throughout a game, and then when people try to make the rules fair, the one that stole everything says "I don't think we should play the game anymore"

    April 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  63. RickFromDetroit

    The Nanny State is still in its infancy and if it is not expanded we will not survive as a Country. The high tech era that began 50 years ago is blossoming into a work place without workers.

    The machines will eventually win out and we will be faced with mass poverty, hunger, and increasing slums due to the unequal distribution of wealth, and if the Nanny State can not keep pace with the replacement of workers in the work place, the business sector will collapse due the lack of consumer spending that Nanny is NOT providing to purchase the products the businesses produce.

    We see it every day, IBM Watson playing Jeopardy, Auto Commercials where a robot picks up a car and moves it like a toy in your hand, robot arms that paint the vehicle, warehouse equipment where robots move parts around the plant. New computers that scan a retail product, order a replacement, due all of the accounting and pay the taxes.

    Anyone who was around 30 years ago remembers the mainframe computer, something that has been replaced with a PDA capable of performing thousands more calculations.

    We can no longer live off of the land like we did 100 years ago, and jobs that pay anything are becoming a precious commodity, but without the consumer spending to fuel the fire we will see a decline across every sector of the economy.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  64. Kevin

    For some maybe, but not the veterans who collected a government paycheck at the time they were injured.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  65. Paul Donelson

    Billionaires have made their money in the US off the backs of millions of poor Americans. They were only concerned with the bottom line. Now they are getting away with not helping the people they brought to America as they go off to other countries to make their money.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  66. Val Lockett, Honolulu

    Jack, yes it is. It has to be, if we are ever going to recover and become a prosperous nation once again.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  67. nelson

    Nanny state, my eye. We have a help the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else state.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  68. Andrew in Regina, SK

    Not likely; the sad truth of reality is that even when ourselves, the people, keep calling the government to make the necessary sacrifices that would stop the burden from reaching our grandchildren and they're grandchildren; we would rather live as comfortable as we can with whatever the government and let our future legacy take care of the problem then we do ourselves, only for them to do it to they're future legacy, and so on and so on. It's a state of mind that politicians are fully aware of with the majority, and cater to that state of mind to get the votes. It may be ugly, but that's reality of humanity.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  69. Ken in NC

    I'm going to asnwer your question in the same manner our government operates. Yes it is..... Well maybe it is ....... it's a possibility ....... I think it is ........ I'm not so sure but it may be.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  70. ThomasL

    If the rich can be tax free than the poor has the right to feed their families.
    Besides If people stopped receiving assistance and cannot find a job what are they to do?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  71. Linda in Arizona

    I'm not even going to bother to refute the lies and distortions in your latest republican propaganda rant. I just want to say, "You disgust me, and I wish you a future filled with as much pain as you want to force on those less fortunate than your rotten, selfish self."

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  72. Kris

    Unfortunately, the welfare system is abused. However, this system needs to remain to help people like myself who has a degree, but need a little assistance until I can get myself back into a good job.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  73. Vickie

    Simple. The Nanny State will continue and the haves will simply be expected to kick in more tax money to keep it solvent. That's called the Socialist State.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  74. Paul

    While I agree entitlement programs need to get scaled back, I cannot say that leaving everyone to fend for themselves in every circumstance is the mark of an advanced society. You're making an assumption everyone receiving government aid is lazy. The world was different 300 years ago, today we have an established, structured country, a culture of materialism, poor education, sedentary lifestyles and rule of law. The wealth structure is different and not everybody can be a success despite all efforts. You'll always have the poor and downtrodden, you can either help them, or ignore them. Ask yourself what Jesus would do?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  75. Kevin

    Whenever our Congress quits taking hand outs is when we should expect the American people to do the same. Why is corporate welfare alright but feeding babies, granting housing, education and jobs repulsive to these "Christian" conservatives? I fear an America that embraces a "let them eat cake" mentality.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  76. Kevin in New Hampshire

    Before the Nanny State can end, we're going to have to go back to the world our great grand parents knew: a local community that needs everyone to produce it's own food, it's own services, it's own transportation, it's own education. That gives everyone a job and a very modest livelihood. Goodbye interstates, massive corporations, and everything being bought from Walmart. You can't have one without the other.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  77. Fritz Hohenheim

    Jack, you're right when you say that the poor and desperate came to America in the 18th and 19th century. But that was because they faced certain doom where they came from and they exchanged that for only possible doom by coming here. Many of them still died here and the ones that made it where a handful compared to the nameless hordes that died in poverty.
    I think the thing that we really can't afford in the future, is the American Empire.We pay for troops all over the world to impose our will on those peoples.Why are there still troops in Germany? To prevent a Soviet attack? To prevent another Hitler? Give me a break.
    If we cut back on that military Moloch that we call our defense budget,I'd gladly pay taxes if they went where they're supposed to go: To help the American poor.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  78. David, Marietta, GA

    Jack, let's not forget that many of the organizations you mention also brought order to a chaotic, inhuman world. In the days before government stepped in, unscrupulous landlords and employers banked on the ignorant and desperate, amassing huge fortunes on the misery of others. Sure, our cities grew and corporations made our economy the largest in the world, but at what price? Why is it that we only speak of cutting spending? Why aren't we talking of raising taxes? There are those of us who believe that higher taxes are a worthwhile price to pay in order to have a better standard of life, provided by government standards and enforced by government regulatory agencies. If we have to return to the days of the Robber Barons and Slumlords, I'll find a ticket to some other country where reason and humanity prevail.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  79. Joe in St. Louis


    First, I don't think you know what nanny state means; please check the wikipedia. Second 1 in 8 Americans is over 65, so 1 in 6 receiveing SOMEthing from the government is no surprise.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  80. mark in sedona

    You left a few details out in your revisionist history. The US govt gave away plenty of free land for the asking for all those bootstrap pioneers you credit with such self reliance. And the greatest infrastructure build in the world by the greatest generation was from the 30s to the 60s in the US.. and it was all government jobs.

    The US has always been a nanny state. The problem we have now is they aren't giving us any more free land to live out our self reliant lives with. We have to borrow money from the bank instead.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  81. Jim Terrio

    Yes I do, and it's far past time that it goes. We are seeing Washington begining to understand what "We the People" have know for some time. You just can;t spend what you don';t have. Took awhile but they seem to be getting it!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  82. Tim in Texas

    First of all, we don't have a 'nanny state', we pay into Social Security and Medicare. Secondly, health care cost substantially less, not more, when the government is your insurer rather than private companies. Ryan's plan simply says the government isn't going to deal with the problem of rising health care costs. Were just going to make everyone under 55 deal with it on their own. And if that were such a great idea, why not just start right now. Tell the seniors we'll give them a coupon to go out and buy health insurance.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  83. Steve

    If we are going to end "Welfare" programs (which has been deeemed The Nanny State in the US) we should start we welfare programs that benefit the the rich. Our government officials, especially on the Republican side of the house, are quick to point out programs that support the poor, but neglate to point out programs that are benefitting the rich. As a matter of fact Corporate welfare is not even acknowledged on either side of the house. Case at point, GE!!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  84. Dug

    No, no, no, no, no! The Nanny state? Really Jack? I do fine and am grateful that I have never had to utilize government entitlement programs. But I also know that if I ever had to, I would sure be glad they are there. If any of these politicians that think we cradle our poorest of citizens too much, ever actually had to live off of government assistance I bet they wouldn't be so quick to want to cut them. We don't like the unpleasant in this country, and so we push the destitute to the side. Well poverty, hunger, and sickness are not things that are going to go away by saying, "pull yourself up by your boot straps, it's the American way!"

    April 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  85. David, from Matthews NC

    Back when we first started the USA we did not have those Government hand outs. You are right Jack. But we also had street justice, and we were hanging women we thought were witches. Back then it was every man for him self. Is that what you want now? Maybe we should all carry 6 shooters on our hip too?
    The fact is we NEED protection from free enterprise. Because free enterprise will run this country into the ground all in the name of profits.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  86. jerry

    Perhaps we should get rid of that pesky phrase in the Preamble-..promote the general welfare". America is for the "haves". Screw the "tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Every man for himself!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  87. Paul -- Chicago

    We are only as strong as our weakest link.
    To be economically and militarily secure, we need a healthy and educated populous.
    How we share this security of our nation may change–Ensuring that we have this security will, in the long run, never.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  88. Charles

    Absolutely! Even if we had the capability of sustaining such a state, the big question would be whether we should do so. Time over time, if you look at those countries which have employed such a "nanny state", we find it is a powerful dis-insentive to the poor to become literate, working adults contributing to the society they live in. It is a huge waste of human potential and human capital; in other words and it leads to the individual's despondency, drug abuse, depression and sense of futility among those who have such a nanny. Of course the whole other question is whether we can afford to fund such a state, and the answer is patently clear: no!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  89. margie miller

    since we didn't get a raise in social sec. in two years 72 years old ,but still have to eat and buy gas.how could i go about getting a gov.bail out? if you could help answer these ???? i sure would be happy

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  90. vicky

    Our Government is covering up the fact that illegal aliens are entitled to welfare such as medical, education, food stamps WIC and etc. at taxpayers expense.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  91. Alison

    As an American now living in Quebec, Canada, I can say authoritatively that Americans don't have the slightest clue about what a "nanny state" is. America's patchwork of "social safety net" programs provide the bare minimum of support for people who are unable to support themselves; it is so miniscule an amount of "aid" that it's laughable. As an example of a real nanny state, here in Quebec, when student graduation rates decreased dramatically, the government took charge by reducing the requirements for graduation, and adding subsidies for students as incentives to keep them in school, thereby creating a generation of kids who haven't learned anything but expect to be paid by somebody, anybody (read: taxpayers, and don't get me started on the incredibly tiny amount of taxes you pay in the States versus what I pay here!) for the rest of their lives.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  92. mary

    Give me a break Cafferty. it's people like you and Ron Paul who make millions a year who want to cut off people inAmerica who are struggling while at the same time we give billions, billions to wall street and banks to help bail them out. It's like those people who have insurance that don't want others to have it. I would swallow comments like that from someone who is out of work and uninsured than from commentators and representatives who don't sweat what they'll eat at night.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  93. Mark

    Our gov't doesn't take care of us from cradle to grave. That's ridiculous! We all pay in to a system that can then afford to help out those less fortunate. Be realistic, not everybody has the wherewithall to go to school and achieve financial success. Every nation has a small portion that struggles. And I don't mind a portion of my tax dollars going to these people. It's called compassion and its what the Republicans, yes those great Christians dont have! I care about my fellow citizens, shouldn't we all

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  94. Donald New Mexico

    I guess the poor are the nannys because they give everything to the rich. We all "owe it to the company store".

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  95. Eric from Arizona

    I think it's really funny how easy it is for elderly white males to claim that the world would be better without the thousands of programs out there. It seems you Jack lack the understanding of what it is like to be a single mother, a minority who has never known any other life, or even a new college graduate struggling to find work. The fact that our country is failing has a lot more to do with the vast amount of Americans that believe the earth is only six thousand years old, rather then those that did not get the best start.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  96. James Whitescarver

    Your statements leading up to your survey question were riddled with half-truths and inaccuracies. You need to do much more careful fact checking.
    "Nanny state" is just a slogan intended to discredit those who think we can afford to take care of each other. Our compassion for each other and our investment in our people is what has made this country great.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  97. Paul

    Jack: Your smear against people who get "help" from the federal government displays a "knownothingism" that I previously thought you avoided. Medicare–how are the elderly going to get taken care of without it? Private insurance? Oh, yes, that's been very effective,and they are just dying to insure people with multiple chronic conditions aren't they? Medicaid? Oh yes, we should let the disabled and seniors who need long-term nursing care go...where?
    Moreover, I am astounded you didn't mention the enormous amount of corporate welfare, in the form of special tax-breaks and direct subsidies. Do you realize that if corporations just paid what they were supposed to, without the tricks, that a large fraction of the deficit would be closed. Why are the corporations viewed as wards of the nanny state?
    Sure, years ago, you could go to a doctor, who did not have much he could do for you anyhow, and pay for your checkups with chickens. If that is the level of care you want, go for it. I'll pay some extra taxes, and make sure that everyone, myself included, can get that MRI when I need it.
    Paul, Seattle WA

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  98. Bill in Palm Springs, CA

    If the end of the nanny state is NOT inevitable, then the end of the United States IS inevitable.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  99. Quentin Riley

    Nanny State? The whole United States in going down the toilet. Two parties with 2 self interests and both spend to much. America is to far gane, another Empire self imploding!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  100. Phil from Ontario

    I think the average citizen has a hard time with numbers expressed in billions and trillions of dollars. I know the people I talk to can't comprehend $1trillion dollars. The nanny state must end but people would understand the difficult budget battles if someone would take the numbers and express them in $thousands which people make and understand. ie The US Gov't brings in X$thousands and with the entitlements it spends Y$thousands. Then everyone would undrestand the numbers in a language they can relate to. I work for a US company and the entitlements will destroy the USA sooner rather than later. Time for the congress to sit down with a money management planner.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  101. Annie, Atlanta

    What a horrible thing to say about people in need. Nothing like insinuating we're scum. It's this kind of attitude that has kept me from taking advantage of food stamps until I can find a job. I applied 3 times since my husband died, and have been unable to complete the process because I've never been in a position, until now, to take a "handout." Instead I'm using the proceeds of a small life insurance policy to feed my kids and me, and pay for utilities. We've learned how to live lean. This is despicable, Jack. Must be nice to be in a position where you can look down your nose, or as I've been known to say, treat us like something you scrape off the bottom of your shoe in disgust.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  102. Don from Illinois

    Yes, the end of the nanny state is inevitable. We can't continue to support those who won't work, come here illegally or those who see having children as a way to increase their income.
    There is also another group who has gotten pretty fat living off the government largesse. That is the corporations and wealthy who get tremendous tax breaks that aren't available to the rest of us. Maybe we could and another category, those nations that receive foreign aid who either don't need it or use it against us.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  103. james

    if we continue to spend on overseas war and rebuilding, allowing tax breaks for the company's that actually should pay taxes and continue to allow imports into this country with out steeper import tax to help motivate domestic made products, we have no choice but to let these programs go.... The government is out of control, they will vote to cut these programs because it does not affect them.... yet they will not cut there fedral medical insurance or there pay, that comes form our tax dollars.... the only idea i think of is if everyone was to just opt out of paying taxes on there wages.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  104. Chris B, Florida

    Not directly. If we lean on Corporate America to pony up a reasonable amount we should be able to insure Americans, take care of our citizens properly and support confidence in our society. Of course we better adjust the Democrats opinion of health care options.
    Why can't we all just get along?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  105. Jos

    Jack, I am glad that you are doing fine and feel no need to pay into a system that you never foresee any need for but what about the rest of the American's that are struggling?! I find it absurd and appalling that people of the right-wing have the audacity to call anyone elitist. You are clearly a social darwinist like those of your kind who says let the poor die because they must not be working hard enough to survive, right? Quite frankly, how dare you. The fact of the matter is you don't want to acknowledge that you are financially stable out of sheer luck of circumstances and never worked harder than anybody else to get where you are. The nanny state, give me a break! Yes, it is inevitable that cruelty will prevail and we will see the end of what I and other American's actually paid into with that twisted view!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  106. Jeffrey from Los Angeles

    Ron Paul and his fellow travelers are saying to those who aspire for the American Dream to forget it. Only a very select few elites and their offspring will ever live the American Dream. He is saying that American is not egalitarian and that there is no responsibility to be shouldered by the wealthy few towards the rest of society that supports them. What Paul and his fellow travelers are trying to force upon this country is social Darwinism that led to both the Great Depression and was repudiated by our grandparents for the untold mass suffering that the private sector wrought upon the country.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  107. David

    Why do the poor and elderly CITIZENS of this country have the biggest targets on their backs when it comes to economic reform? Especially while we continue to pour trillions of dollars down the drain in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, South America and on and on. Its absurd and disheartening those 'interests' come before those of our fellow Americans.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  108. Paul

    Yes. The nanny state was created by the depression generation and was never intended to last forever. After the US was to come out of the depression, all the programs were to end. Somehow, no one discovered there was an "off" switch until it was too late and a new generation had come to accept the nanny state and plan on it for retirement. It is unsustainable in its current form.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  109. Tyler in Milwaukee

    Yes it is inevitable but its going to come about in a very very painful way. Its not going to slowly disappear simular to how it slowly came about over the last 80 years or so but instead its going to all go away instantly. We are all going to wake up one day and the Government will have defaulted on its loans and the US dollar will be worthless.

    I wish I had enough faith in our government to do the right thing and fix the system before its to late.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  110. Anthony

    Jack, you fell into the trap of slapping a label on the social safety net, much of which you and most citizens have supported in the past. Social security and medicare aren't given to citizens, it is paid for by citizens. Shame on you for throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  111. Randy

    Six out of the ten wealthiest counties in america are either in Washington D.C. or surrounding Washington D.C. in the states of Maryland and Virginia. Isn't it amazing that the wealthy preach "nanny state" to the people who pay the bills while they reap all the HUGE benefits of government policies?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  112. Mary

    Years ago wealthy did not get wealthy double down tax cuts either.. And years ago righteous laws were created, in congress that protected the rights of all, and gave a fair playing field for all to get ahead. Righteousness lived in those days and distributed equality rights for all and for all to share in equally, what a Nation Natural Resources had to offer. Nor was there over 2,500 lobbyist in congress either. Righteous laws were created in congress that did not just benefit the few either, nor did 2% hold all the wealth of a Nation nor were there big box stores that wiped out all the ma and pa retail stores either. Greed creates poverty and why every great empire fell was because of their greed, their unjust wars, their jealousy. There are more working poor then ever before. Banks were looked up to then also and could be trusted.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  113. dale

    Our Family never needed a state for nanny capacity. I wanted out of social security in my teens, now over 30 years of compulsory payments and of course later adding payments to cover medicare ..you speak of they're taking care of me? Just give me back what I was forced to pay you..with interest and we'll forget the whole thing in the future. don't know why I'm addressing this issue, government will always do what it does best..show great incompetence.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  114. Vickie, Columbus, OH

    I hope so. People my age don't expect Medicare or S.S. to be there for us, so why not just admit it won't be there for anyone currently under 40. Of course the 'nanny state' should disappear for the banks and corporate bailouts too.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  115. Paul

    For a christian nation to ponder a situation where an established government willingly turns a blind eye to the basic needs of the poor and downtrodden in their society I find curious. I'd have to ask how one reconciles that with the faith they espouse while they are going to such great lengths to fight wars in nations overseas?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  116. kurt arnold

    yes i dont think it is over . remember the old saying you get what you pay for well thats life and it time to show people how to take care of themselves and not expect the goverment to do so
    remember ifyou give a man afish he eats today put if you teach a man to fish he eats every day

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  117. Gary

    Paul might have a point. To bad he's a raving idiot. By the time he finishes a sentence, he's forgotten what it was about. Remember the debates a couple years ago. Other candidates in the debates had to remind him of the questions. The old man needs to be put out to pasture, and send his offspring with him.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Chris

    I am unemployed, yet don't receive unemployment, uninsured, yet I will NEVER accept ObamaCare (I don't pay federal income taxes, even when employed, not worried about the penalties, as the fed income tax is unconstitutional). End the nanny state, I see too many people taking advantage of it, paying for groceries with foodstamps and driving away in Navigators with 22" Lexani rims. I have a "friend" (no longer since i discovered this) that brings home about $6000 a month, a part of that income being welfare and food stamps.

    Ron Paul 2012. Really people, start voting for patriots who are honest, caring, and of sound mind. Not communists and elitists that have long been bought and paid for.

    If it wasn't for my family helping me, and my disability from the military, I would be in a bad spot, but I'd still be alive, and I'd still survive, as I have when my family wasn't around....

    If you can't survive on your own, take a look at what liberals love to push in our schools, evolution. It's survival of the fittest, if you're not fit enough to take care of yourself, then you need not reproduce and taint the gene pool ( a little bit of Hillary Clinton's eugenics in there too)

    BTW, not a repub, or a dem. I'm a patriot and a lover of mother earth, we seem to forget how small we are, and that all of us are not worth saving.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  119. teepee

    It's easy to say take away the help to the old and poor...just do it and watch the level of poverty increase in this nation 3-fold. And I mean white poverty as well as black poverty...Crime will be both a nightmare and reality to those who have. better think about it...

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Wayne from Houston

    The number of people today getting help from the government at all levels is still a result of jobs lost to NAFTA, the housing bubble bust, the Bush tax cuts, majority of jobs available are either part time, or low wage, and the great recession. Only with a full recovery, with full time higher wage jobs can bring down the bulk of the numbers of those getting government help.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Johnny Cook

    Isn't it telling that this issue is couched in the terms of the rich? Nanny state? I grew up on Welfare and food stamps, made it through college on federal grants, served in the Army for 20 years and now I have been a public school teacher for nine years (that's another story). I have repaid my country many times over with my public service.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  122. Dario

    I would love for somebody to show me what baby sitting tactics our government has applied at any time in our history. We consider ourselves the best everything yet, when most of the world has free health care we don't! When most countries look to progress by educating the people in their countries, we look to raise tuition and cut teacher pay. And trust me I know, I am a 23 year old with a finance degree and no job,living in Raun Paul's state! Public transportation doesn't exist meanwhile the gas which is traded in u.s. Dollar keeps rising while our currency falls. Thank you government for baby sitting us and providing me with tuition debt and such a great democracy!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  123. Frank, Jacksonville, Florida

    The end is inevitable. Take your pick in defining the end – rationale reform well implemented or face to face confronation and revolution between citizens and their government. Or, and this may be as likely as the others, the end of the nanny state will come through subjugation to the growing powers in the world like China, India and Russia

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  124. David, from Matthews NC

    Back when we first started the USA we did not have those Government hand outs. You are right. But we also had street justice, and we were hanging women we thought were witches. Back then it was every man for him self. Is that what you want now? Maybe we should all carry 6 shooters on our hip too?
    The fact is we NEED protection from free enterprise. Because free enterprise will run this country into the ground all in the name of profits.
    Free enterprise will not give the very poor and the elderly health coverage. Poor people can't afford it, and they won't insure people that are too old with "pre-existing conditions"

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Deborah Seibert,. Co

    Yes, and I hope there are not riots like the ones in Greece. I looked at them and thought "what a bunch of idiots and how greedy" but now I think we will follow in their footsteps. People hate to give up a handout but our country will be stronger at the end of the "Nanny State".

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  126. Joel

    ...If the REALLY rich people stop paying the nanny, most assuredly.

    It appears that the whole really is equal to the sum of its parts. Like most of us, our government wants to spend more than it can afford. My father told me that, if I wanted something, I should study hard, get a good job, save my money, and buy it. It's a simple lesson: If you can't afford it, you can't have it.

    Let's hope enough people (in DC) decide to make those rich people continue to pay our nanny.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  127. Bernard

    Why republicans' answer to budget shortfall is always about cutting government subsidies for the poor and elderly but never about cutting subsidies for the big corporations?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  128. pat

    Jack, it is true that some folks emmigrated here and did just fine with no safety net programs but it is also true that that people starved to death, the elderly ate cat food, and who knows how many people died for lack of health care. For those very reasons the programs were implemented. Our schools used to be #1, not because we were so great at educating our children but because most other countries were so far behind and just developing themselves. They've all simply caught up and passed us by.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  129. Jason in Buffalo

    The time is indeed done Jack. I am the product of the Irish immigration wave. As you stated, my ancestors did NOT receive handouts, bailouts, or even PC treatment.
    I work in EMS (Emergency Medical Services) and see the outright and blatant abuse of the Medicaid system. People who do not need to go to the hospital for headaches, stomachaches, flu...etc. People who are not disabled but able bodied. If your off the boat, you get Medicaid right away. New York has such a great plan, I've had dozens of patients tell me thats why they come to NY. The City of Buffalo, which is another Detroit, would rather build NEW housing projects (townhouses now), then mandate people to move out and get out of that business. Something needs to be done, people need to depend on themselves!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  130. Mark Conte

    If the country is so broke, how can we affoird 2 billion a day top occupy Iraq, 2 billion a day more to occupy Afghanistan, 50 billion a year to keep up and expant the 186 bases around the world, l,ike the Imperial British used to do and 50 billion a year in foreign aid to countries who have a booming economy. I am a world war II vet who saved you from the NAZI and now you want to get rid of me.
    Here's an idea. Let's put a ceiling on how much money people can make for all jobs. Start with congress, then the billionaires on wall street. How much do you make Jack?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  131. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No, in order to end the nanny state in the U.S. is to cut off the head so the body doesn't work. The head is all the Government agencies that are paid to deliver social services that keep them employed and of course they will never see it that way.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  132. Paul

    Stick with the Nanny State! Don't upset your base.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  133. Allen D Hurst, Bonne Terre, Missouri

    If they would allow the common folks access to the funds, instead of the proffesional panhandlers and rich punk ass kids, We would not be having this discussion. Rock on Jack!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  134. barbara blom

    just a quick history reminder, the reason all these laws came into being and the reason the immigrants were able to make a good life for themselves was because people and the governement recognized that children were working in sweat factories for 14 hours, downtowns were squalors before the laws of mid century, so they created social programs to give people a leg up, and disbanded the huge corporations. The reason we have all these laws and the reason the poor thrived grew out of people recongnizing that we had to take care of the poor, educate them, make laws to protect them from being exploited. Is there room for reform, of course!. However, ater the reforms, in mid centruy, the tax rate for the wealthy and big business was 90%, in the past 30 years, the tax rate for the corporations and the wealthy has gone down to 35%, plus loop holes and tax breaks Where did that surplus of 2000 go after eight years of Bush era tax cuts and ten hikes in the debt ceiling, it didn't just disappear. Could it be that all those tax breaks and loopholes went to give billions of dollars in bonuses to CEOs and their billion dollar tax refunds?.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  135. Jackson

    I seriously doubt this message will even get to Cafferty yet even on air but here goes.....

    The way you have commented about this issue shows you view the entitlements as just items come up by someone just to create a way for the government to spend more money. You seem to forget that these programs were put in place because there was a need to help the American Citizens that were in need. These programs are needed even more today because the people and business practices that caused the need for these programs did not learn from what they were doing other than how to do it even more. This country is being destroyed by greed, not by social programs to help the citizens. Until Americans begin to sit down and really think about the proposals of the Republicans and some Democrats they will continue to vote into office people that do not have the best interests of Americans in mind yet how they can boost their own popularity and support those that only support them. This is not the Republicans' nation nor is it the Democrats' nation, this is the country of All Americans, of all political leanings, all religions even the lack thereof and until people start realizing they need to work together for what is best for the country as a whole they will continue being Un-American and destroy this country.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  136. Gigi Oregon

    I think it will be the end of the United States soul. When we no longer believe that we should take care of our countries people who are losing everything because of a corrupt corporate America. Then turn our back on those who have suffered because there are no jobs, affordable medical etc. May God have mercy on those who rob the poor, widow and orphan. Someone please pack up "the statue" and send it back to France we have lost our soul. The biggest mistake our grandparents made was spoiling their children and grandchildren.

    I cannot believe this country would rather feed the Rich and than care for the poor and abused by arrogance.

    Who are these people running our country who would rather go to war for oil with our tax monies than care for their people. We treat our pets better than human life.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  137. jepheth black

    I am a 10 year veteran.and I think you are wrong to generalize

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  138. Magnum Serpentine

    Absolutly Not.

    It is a sign of greatness to help the disabled, elderly and poor. Lets not do what the Monster Paul Ryan wants and shove Grandma into the street. We need to take care of those who are disabled, poor and elderly not put them in the street. By the way, The Monster Paul Ryan will find a way to cut Social Security and destroy medicare for those over 55. Ryan saying that he will not tuch it for those over 55 is just an out right bold faced lie!!!

    What the Republican'ts want to do with the money they take from Social Security and Medicare is give it to the Rich, the Well to Do, the Wealthy. They do not want to cut the debt.

    Shame on Cafferty for calling needed programs, the Nanny State.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  139. jason

    The corporatocracy does not allow for diverse opportunity. If you are impoverished and can actually manage to pay for college your degree is more than likely useless by the time you graduate. I am from Detroit and I can tell you that if there were simple non-degree opportunities people would work. Maybe ending social programs will motivate people to storm the bastille as they should.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  140. Joe

    I admit I have benefited from federally backed student loans, and tuition deduction. However, I will concede this should be viewed more as a discretionary benefit than a right.
    Countless generations of Americans made it on their own without the help of government. Just look at the survivors of the great depression. Despite not getting a single handout from the government, they still had a great enough love of country to defend this country in World War Two. We need to remember government does not owe us anything but that which is defined in the Bill of Rights. Nowhere therein does it insure a cradle to grave safety net.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  141. Dennis

    Your right….if we stop all the billions in profit for the military, if we stop trillions in corporate welfare. If the rich start to create jobs with their tax breaks and not ship jobs to China for huge profits at US taxpayers expense. The list goes on!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  142. Pauline

    You can't compare the two? All the resources were still available to everyone in a young America, for the taking. Now a small group of rich owns everything. I can't even plant vegetables and sell them locally. US policy would rather trade allegiance from foreign countries for buying their products, oh, then pay the big wealthy farmer millions NOT to plant.
    Paul....I like you, but, well, think about that selfish remark.... how much of your wealth came from some direct or indirect help from government policy???? HMMMMMM Give me your family info....I will find the link. It's there, just follow the money.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  143. Don

    We will never be able to take care of those who will not take care of themselves but we can help those who can't take care of themselves. learning how to tell the difference will be the lesson for this generation and those to come.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  144. Tom Miller

    Some programs are good and some are bad. You can't lump them into one category. Social security, for example, is self-funding. The problem can't borrow money, but it seems the Congress can borrow money from Social Security. I am for moving the age to 70 since the new 70 is the old 50 (or so they say). Medicare is needed because I don't know of many "for profit" medical insurance companies willing to cover a 73 year old. I do think food stamps, welfare, etc. that aren't funded well and are open to fraud should be phased out.

    It the old days that you mentioned, people either lived on a farm and fed themselves or lived in the city and didn't require cards, etc. to get around and find work.

    Here is an example: Why should Unemployment Benefits be funded by the employer. Why not have it better funded from contributions from the employer and employee so that when needed, it actually it is significant enough to help.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  145. Lucia

    First of all, I think your cheerful recollections are misleading. Assistance programs weren't invented because everybody was doing just fine – a lot of those historic hard-working immigrants you refer to suffered and died under horrible conditions while others fortunately managed to beat the odds.

    The other thing is that so-called "government hand-outs" come from the very people who end up getting the help: when I have a job, I pay into Unemployment ... when I don't, I can collect. What is it in our thinking that makes us see people as taxpayers until they need something - then those same people are viewed as parasites?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  146. Brian

    Jack 1 in 3 people end up with disabilities over their life. Or they have a child with special needs. Ask those parents if their kids aren't worth some Government help in education and other helpful services. Maybe we should just institutionalized them huh? Believe it or not simply helping people out using programs like assisted living and HUD housing cost less money than herding people into nursing homes.

    Ron Paul has money so I'm sure this doesn't concern him much. Use your head before talking of the past. If it wasn't for social services you'd be working for $7 an hour and your grand kids would be in a factory counting their fingers while running machinery...

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  147. Georgia Sinclair

    I find it insulting to call social security, medicare, and mediaid "nanny care". My husband and I earned social security and medicare thru hard work.

    Handicapped and people who are unable to find employment also deserve medical care. Perhaps it should be paid for by those banksand stock market wags by them being fined for their inept illegal acts before you condemn these helpless people.

    I also feel something should be done to modify these programs, but to just take them away is just not – to partly use a favorite Tea Party and right wing quote "Christian".

    I'm an Independent voter. I vote for the people I respect. To be honest, I do not respect many Republicans these days, nor do I respect many Democrats. None of them are willing to compromise. This group may or may not include you. I am not sure if you are willing to urge compromise. That's all that will keep this country going.

    Please, I am only an old lady, but I don't want to lose the middle class because of greed and extinction by Republicans such as the Governor of Wisconsin. Do we really want to return to 18th century work days. God forgive us if we do

    Georgia Sinclair

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  148. Mary Schacht

    How about that I have been paying into this system for my whole life? I AM entitled to the benefits that I have been paying for. How about we stop waging war for other countries unless they pay our war bills? We could really cut down the deficit so much faster at a savings of 2 billion dollars a week. I would love to sponsor 100 or 1000 children through Children International, but I can only afford to help one and still manage my financial obligations. The United States needs to adopt a policy that requires us to take on only what we can manage without bankrupting our country. Where is our common sense? Stop paying and fighting other people's wars. Japan could use our help for big problems that do and will affect the whole world. I'm sure they could use 2 billion dollars a week for rebuilding. Or how about we invest 2 billion dollars a week in wind and solar energy? We could solve our energy problems and stop waging war to protect our oil sources.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  149. teepee

    I'll bet that many people who want to change things are either very well off financially, or too young to identify with the need for this kind of help...Better hope that America stays prosperous.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  150. lynne grubbs

    The US is heading toward a welfare nation. Generations of people have never had jobs and have become wards of the government. The elderly are dependents of the government through social security and medicare. And now able bodied working people are being paid extended unemployment benefits. What is this if not welfare? It will be impossible to stop the entitlement mentality that has spread like cancer.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  151. bill

    So things were better when when there were no child labor laws, no fire safety laws, no minimum wage/ 8 hour day and no social safety net?

    I guess if some people have their way we'll see if you're right.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  152. Walt

    Hello Jack,
    All that you said is true, but you forgot to mention the fact that those people werent taxed to death on any, and everything. The Goverment wasnt subsidising large coporations, things were a little more honest back then and the Government wasnt owned by large companies, the US wasnt backing dictators, and tyrants nor paying out untold amounts in foriegn aid, instead of taking care of US citizens who`s taxes they are spending on everyone except the ones they take it from.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  153. MILLER,D.

    I'm 67 and have seen this going on and getting worse. Those in real need have always found a way to servive. I'm tired of my hard earned monies going to projects some govt official deems necessary to get them re-elected next term! Too many have learned the EASY WAY TO PAN-HANDLE and have passed along the trait!!. PAPA

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  154. Mrs Johnson

    My comment is just this. I am a 45 year old african american female. I have three children. I am divorced. I have worked snce age 14. Attended college, gave 23 years of my life to a corporate america that failed me. After surprisingly being layed off I found myself in a worl wind not knowing which way to turn. I had two kids in college, one in high school. My life tumbled down on me and forced me to make decisions that I would have never thought about doing. My mother nor my father had big jobs making big money. They were not allowed too, but they instilled in me to be productive and loyal and make a life for myself. Everything that I gained, I lost. And guess what, I had to depend on food stamps–a whole $86 a month, and unemployment–a full $330 a month. Let's compare this to persons that migrated here that made it, with grants, loans, and other oppirtunities that we did not all get to partake of. Be careful with you're thoughts Mr. Cafferty, you took history and not everyone is a dead beat disadvantage person.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  155. Theoodore

    Jack, That is a bit of a distortion of history. It was those very government programs that actually led to the prosperity of which you speak. Prior to those programs, my ancestors were slaves. Our female ancestors had little , if any legal rights. And those of Irish and Italian decent weren't considered "Real Americans" for years because they weren't Protestant. Congressman Paul is correct but Republicans have been trying to underfund social programs since FDR died. They have forced these programs into extinction by convincing us that they were too expensive when they were the ones who helped drive up the price.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Adam

    What nanny state are you talking about? The RNC believes caring for a small percentage of the populace, mostly U.S. citizens, who are suffering economically because American businesses wont invest in Americans should end? Atlas is shrugging and the people he represents are trying to get the citizens of this nation to believe the government is responsible. Companies report record profits but dare not give back to the society that supports and legally creates them. when that ends so can welfare. its a trade off. Besides most of the welfare dollars just roll back to the coffers of the fortune 500. Really we are talking about sheltering, feeding and warming humans who are in hardship. Maybe we should just start a new welfare program where the government just makes, and delivers the food, using the people on welfare to do it. I am sure that Safeway, Krfat, ConAgra, and the coal companies all loose money on the first of the month.
    Adam Portland

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  157. PG in MD

    It won't likely be the end, but I sure hope this leads to serious reform. It is just not realistic for any government to have to take care of people and families for their whole lives. The problem with the current system is that there is no path to guide people back to taking care of themselves.. especially with Social Services. There should be a limited amount of time anyone can be on such services, with a way for users to get back on their feet and get child care so they can go back to work. Also, and this will light up a lot of people, the government should be able to limit the number of children anyone has while on such services. The service should not be set up so that it keeps people trapped on it. And those receiving the services should be required to perform some type of service for the government while on the service. Think of all the child care centers that could be staffed by people receiving welfare.. that would solve two problems. This idea could be applied to many other areas where we need workers.. and those on welfare are already being paid. They should also eventually have to pay something back.. just like with unemployment. I could go on, but you get the picture... it's time to make changes in not only how we spend money on social services, but also what we get in return.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  158. Ken

    Our ancestors came to our cities to live in extreme poverty. There was child labor with the average life span country wide less than 37 years of age. While future generations of immigrants did improve their lot, it was after much suffering. Do you wish to return people who are not able to support themselves back to those conditions? That you bring up those days as if some sort of golden age – its like I am watching FOX Fiction, not CNN.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  159. birddog in Mississippi

    Every other industrialized country in the world has something akin to a single payer system. None of them call it a 'nanny state', and they all have about half of the per capita health care costs than we do, and most of them have better health outcomes than we do. Paul Ryan's number's are derived from the fact that the health insurance companies are his biggest campaign contributors.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  160. Joe

    I admit I have benefited from federally backed student loans, and tuition deduction. However, I will concede this should be viewed more as a discretionary benefit than a right.
    Countless generations of Americans made it on their own without the help of government. Just look at the survivors of the great depression. Despite not getting a single handout from the government, they still had a great enough love of country to defend this country in World War Two. We need to remember government does not owe us anything but that which is defined in the Bill of Rights. Nowhere therein does it insure a cradle to grave safety net.
    Mankato Mn

    April 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  161. Dan Birmingham, AL

    The 'nanny' state as you call it will continue because people with compassion and a sense of social responsibility will continue to work hard and fight to keep this country from returning to the slave state you and your ilk so whimsically miss.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  162. Omar Jameel


    The country cannot provide jobs for it's citizens, and yet they complain about handouts. People are willing to work if they can provide the jobs.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  163. Jimmy

    Has Jack jioned the war against the working poor and middle class. That is sad. Heck by todays show I think Jack has turned against America and would rather see us as an third world Afican Country. Again what a shame..

    I believe we need to meet this budget and deficet problem with a balanced approach.

    The people who work in the businesses and companies that make the rich rich need to be taken care of. That is one of the elements that make us a Great Nation. Another is we have each others back.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  164. Rex Savage in Portland, Oregon

    Don't confuse your nanny state with government handouts, Jack. It is handbacks. Now corporate america wants all of that money under their total control also, and will get it with you and Glen Beck rabbling the nanny rabble with garbage such as this last inane question.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  165. Ed from California

    As long as Congress leads by example, by reducing their pay to say forty-five thousand per year. No Taxpayer/Socialist paid for Medical insurance. No Retirement pay. They cut off all Congressional staff and families from any taxpayer funded benefits. Discontinuing all retirements to all Congressional retiree's, including all appointed government employee's, ie, Supreme Court

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  166. Marguerite

    From Seattle.

    I know that inflamatory language such as the use the term "nanny' state may get you lots of mail and higher ratings but is not helpful to anyone.

    What we need to do is eliminate the need for programs because we get the people back to work in this country with good paying jobs. We need to stop making the rich richer, the poor poorer and the middle class disappear.

    If you and the rest of the media would stop badmouthing all of the average americans in this country who are really having a very hard time making a good living these days and stop pandering to the rich, everyone would be better served.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  167. Paul

    Jack: people like you call it the "nanny state" in the abstract. Get concrete, and people quite like what they get. That is why people want to cut it, and then don't want this, or that, specific program cut out.
    Our country is a balance between private and public sector, and it's never been otherwise. And, there is nothing wrong with that. The private sector, for example, would never insure elderly patients with several chronic illnesses. Where are they to get their coverage, except from a general program like Medicare?
    As the President said yesterday, had the Bush tax cuts never been enacted, we would today have the lowest rate of debt to GDP in our history. Only Reagan and the 2 Bushes increased those debt/GDP ratios.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  168. Lawrence Danaky

    In a country that guarantees the right to pursue happiness
    (thus impling compassion) I don't think the values of
    a Congressman who named his son after Ayn Rand will
    ever win the day. The idyllic world you portray before the so called "nanny state" arose never existed. The programs were created in answer to
    the rotten conditions for so many in those days. We need to make programs better, not ridicule the reason they are there.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  169. David Sekhon

    Jack- How many of those 1 in 6 Americans are children? At least one-half. We used let children work in coal mines at age 7. How many of those 1 in 6 are handicapped, disabled? Able-bodied citizens should support themselves and their families. A 7 year old child should be in school. Would you deny them a nutritious meal so they could better succeed?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  170. Tom K. from Santa Monica, CA

    It would easy for me to say something mean-spirited here, but I can't. The answer is "probably never" though. Unfortunately, most Democrats are perpetuating this cycle of poverty by giving the poor handouts and handups in order to get their votes. It's a sad thing to see this country turning into something similar to a Communist state. "God helps those who help themselves."

    April 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  171. Lisa Bates, Utah

    The question is insulting. "Nanny State?"

    We are stronger as a nation because we have created a safety net for our citizens. I have multiple disabilities, and live on a whopping $6,000 a year of Social Security Disability. It's no picnic, I assure you! No nanny in sight.

    In countries without social programs, people die and starve in the street. I know, because I lived in Asia for 10 years when I was a child.

    Didn't you read The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, in school? In the absence of social programs, America was just as bad. There are reasons why the social programs are in place. We simply need to go over them with a fine-tooth comb to get rid of abuse and waste.

    It is a much more difficult job to cut the programs with a "scalpel, instead of a machette" as President Obama wants, but our country will be much the stronger, for going through the process.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  172. Annie, Atlanta

    Charles @5:23 – stop with the Republican talking points – you haven't a clue, and personally I hope you never have to.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  173. Gayle Stenson

    Perhaps it is over, this nanny society of ours, but the old days when people could rely on themselves without government help was a time when a person could pursue a dream without asking the government or a huge corporation if it was permissible. He didn't have to pay crippling taxes. He didn't have to compete with global conglomerates. He didn't have to look over his shoulder to see who was monitoring his every move just waiting to spring and yell GOTCHA! The Declaration of Independence said government was instituted by the consent of the governed for one purpose–protection. That was then. Today, Jack, we are no longer the protected, we're the prey....

    April 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  174. patrick nicod

    why not , just let the poor and disadvantage die on the streets the elderly be sent to elimination camps and write on the dollar bill 'in the wealthy we trust" what a nice plan for the future of a once admired nation.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  175. Whitney, Redlands, CA

    Jack, The idea that the U.S. even has a so called "nanny state" is absurd, we have the most conservative welfare programs in world among othe rich countries. Your idea that the U.S. was so much better back before we had real social welfare policies is born out of fantasy. Yes, some immigrants and poor people were able to rise up to become successful but that was the exception not the rule. Poor people lived in absolute squalor, and the idea that we should allow our fellow Americans to go back to such an existence is repugnant. I have great respect for Dr. Paul but we cannot simply end all existing social welfare programs. Certainly, they need reform. I believe that the U.S. needs to raise the retirement, Medicare and social security eligibility age to 70 and that Medicare should be means tested so that those that can afford it contribute to their health care. It is about time we got serious about debt reduction in this country but kicking the poor is not the way.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  176. Rick, Medina, OH


    Sorry, but you and Paul Ryan both have this one wrong! The U.S. in the mid-1800's (when your and my Irish ancestors found this country,) was a different place! We had 1/5th the population and hundred's of millions of acres of undeveloped farm land. Yep! Our ancestors worked hard and made our lives possible! They either worked the farms or provided products and services to those who did. Success is a bit trickier now ... we as a nation need to decide what to do with those who can't find a fit ... do we let them starve? What do we do when they get sick? There is no doubt we need change ... but simply abandoning those with various 'issues' is not the answer!

    Medina, OH

    April 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  177. brian

    This is the most sensible thing I have ever heard on CNN. I hope Mr. Cafferty will still have a job after expressing this TRUTH. If CNN would allow more truth like this to be spoken the veiwer ratings would soar starting with me! Hopefully after this comment is "reviewed by CNN comment policy and deemed appropriate for posting" I will see a step in the right direction. Bravo Mr. Cafferty

    April 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  178. Curt

    Judging by the comments, it sounds like only the rich are greedy. The facts you sited Ed are plain for all to see (ie. Detroit). The nanny state is unsustainable. Yes, it will end. All Ponzi schemes do.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  179. Charlie Neville

    Is it inevitable that the US stop being a Nanny State? Inevitable no, sensible yes.
    But this, must be part of a comprehensive solution to cut spending, reel in debt, and balance the budget.
    It should be done in a realistic manner, cutting these program budgets in small amounts (a percentage at a time) over time. This in coordination with a redesign of our tax system that promotes investment, innovation, and expanded markets would be a good place to start.
    The problem is that Congress has and always will just continue to talk about our fiscal problems and never really work aggressively and in a bi-partisan fashion to fix anything. If the budget was balanced, the debt was eliminated, our tax system fair, progressive, and market stimulating; there would be nothing for Democrats and Republicans to point fingers at to win elections. It’s not about what’s good for the country, it’s what good for the party and candidate.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  180. Maelen Byrd

    The "Father Knows Best" Republican-run State brought us the Great Recession and sees no problems with entitlements such as the mortgage deduction from Income Taxes. Maybe, if the electorate starts to analyze what the GOP wants, they'll see that , while flawed, the Nanny State is about caring and compassion and "Father Knows Best" is about helping the Rich through "Penny-wise, but Pound Foolish" decisions.
    I'd rather see "Parental/ family style" choices that look at issues from every point of view with the reasoning being "What is best for all"!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  181. Stanfrisco

    Yes, BUT complete eradication of a caretaker government is not only impossible, but undesirable. Moderation in all things is the key to success. This is not a black and white world, but many shades of gray. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a democratic government without socialistic components.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  182. Charles

    The use of the phrase "nanny state" is inflamatory. You are asking for a negative response. If you had used the phrase "safety net" you would be asking for a positive response. it all depends on who is redsponding:liberal or conservative; old or young; rich or poor. It also depends on why the question is being asked: for information or for ratings.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  183. Successful Minority in CA

    Mr. Cafferty, your summary of immigrants in US History overlooks the vast majority of those who came to this country and suffered through destitute living conditions. They lived and died in absolute poverty and there was nothing glorious about it.

    You can find a few shining examples of those who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, but those don't represent most Americans who lived hand to mouth without health care, without a voice in government, and no labor rights.

    Our ancestors had to fight tooth and nail against the marriage of Corporate Monopolies and Corrupt politicians for the progress you claim came so easily.

    The "Nanny State" you describe is the product of centuries of struggle that the American people fought through in an effort to even the playing field for all Americans to have a chance in life.

    My mother raised my siblings and I while receiving welfare benefits and living in public housing for years. Now, she is four years away from retirement after working for 30 years as a janitor. She put me through college and I received federal aid and now I hold a Master's degree and a full time professional career. I have uncles and aunts who can't even read. This was only possible because we as a nation decided that every American has the right to an equal chance at life.

    Just like the relatively tiny number our ancestors that made it "on their own" is held above the vast majority who suffered and died in poverty, the minority of welfare recipients who abuse the system are also held above the many who truly need assistance and use it to provide for and advance their families.

    The term "Nanny State" is a slur used against the poor, the poor who's tears, blood, and sweat fuel the machine that raises the few wealthy above the rest.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  184. LD

    Jack, let's not forget that we had a surplus as recently as the 90's, with most if not all of the current safety net programs in place. This crisis is the result of two long-running wars combined with a tax cut for the wealthy. Let's also stop glossing over the lives of Americans prior to Social Security and Medicare. One eye-witness report from Chicago in 1932 (Edmund Wilson, as quoted in Nothing to Fear by Adam Cohen) includes an old Polish immigrant "dying of a tumor, with no heat in the house, on a cold day" and garbage dumps "diligently haunted by the hungry", where one widow was said to remove her glasses before she picked up the spoiled meat "so that she would not be able to see the maggots". This was city life in the last Gilded Age. It was far from the Golden Age you describe. The end of the so-called "nanny state" may be inevitable, but only because our memories are not long enough to know better.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  185. Jared, minnesota

    The nanny state needs to go! We can't afford it. Besides our for fathers didn't come here for govt subsidies or hand outs so why do we need them now! Hell we have it easy now there's no forests to clear for your field or house no cows to milk no fields to plow with just your house. Oh yeah I forgot we got fat and lazy.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  186. Sue

    There have been "overseers of the poor" in the US since the earliest of settlers. It was one of the first positions designated in a new community. It was recognized early on that no village, town or colony could flourish where poverty existed. The real question is: Whatever happened to looking out for one another?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  187. Viv from NY

    Of all industrial countries we take care of our seniors the worst! We are not a nanny state or country. It will be a shame if we do reduce the benefits many find themselves needing. One doesn't plan to become unemployed or ill or in debt.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  188. Dorothy Rodier

    Our ancestors had a life expectancy of 45, families lived in one room, transportation costs were oats for the horse or shoe leather and food was- well, you get the gist – and none of them were smiling in their pictures! Times are so different and cutting off assistance to hugh populations is not an option.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  189. Myrtle Watson

    I am living in Tulsa OK..I am an immigrant from South America.I was educated but poor, looking for a better life.I believe our present system of dependence will and should not last forever in any one's life.People need to be empowered and not be enabled for three to four generations.The key investment is education and ownership.Hard work should be rewarded,if you put into the kiddie you should be rewarded.Our system encourages dependency.I support Congressman Ryan but changes cannot be overnight.Make people responsible and accountable for what they receive within a limited time frame.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  190. Kenneth Frey Sr.

    Are you remembering the true america, where people lived in squalor, crammed into tenements, working in sweatshops? What america are you remembering? Up until my early life all the boroughs of New York were slums, including Manhattan. The bowery, hell's kitchen, greenwich village. What about signs for jobs reading "help wanted, Irish need not apply"? What about the gangs of New York? What about the deaths occuring during the early union days when the working class just wanted their rightful share of the pie. They survived, yes, but then so do the homeless living in the bowels of the big cities, and under bridges. What about the crime during the years you remember? And what about all the iimmigrants who returned to their homeland after being disenchanted with the promised land? This is what the wealthy would like this country to return to. I usually agree with what you say but these comment are totally false and if you take the time to think about it you will have to agree.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  191. Hank

    YES, it is inevitable because our present gutless politicians will NOT make the extremely tough decisions necessary to save the U.S. government from bankruptcy in 3 to 5 years.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  192. james fisher

    Jack–Get a grippe the times you referred to in the US,as I remember were not as rosey as you stated.People could live and pay their bills and home prices were fair too the working class a doctor would come to the house for $15 gas was 26cents wages werent frozen and unions thrived.Since then the rich got richer and their the only ones that had Nannys now they have taxpayers to bail them and their children out.Working families in this country are hurting the taxpayer is the nanny to the rich and privilaged .

    April 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  193. Larry Tee

    Maybe you have forgotten that America began as a Nanny State.
    The royalties were doled out parcels of land whereby they used other American, mostly prisoners to work for them.
    Funny, how history seems to keep repeating itself.
    Perhaps you along with the other Repubs might want to asked the real Americans, the native Indians, how they feel about your question.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  194. H.R. Downs

    Wrong question. The so-called "nanny state" is actually the goal of every single country on earth: to protect and care for the weak, the elderly and the infirm. As the President said in his outstanding address at GW University, Americans have a strong belief that "we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation." We can easily support our parents and grandparents, and more, when patriots pay their fair share of their tax revenues. We were almost there when Mr. Bush dramatically cut revenues with tax cuts and just as dramatically increased spending with two wars. Wealthy people in this country are wealthy because of the rules, laws and regulations established by our federal government. This country spent heavily in blood and treasure to provide such a free market; now it's time for the unusually fortunate to pay the price of admission. If they don't like to pay taxes they can move to Iraq, the ultimate vision of Republican utopia, not much law, not any protection and you can pretty much do what you want . . . in poverty.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  195. Karen

    How much would be saved by paying benefits to only those who have contributed and their dependents when necessary? Why are able-bodied people who have never paid into Social Security entitled to receive benefits? How many generations have now received Welfare benefits without making any contributions? I believe it's time to stop the enabling.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  196. damian

    Sen. Paul wants to take people out of the "nanny state", is he gonna take the petroleum industry off the 40 billion dollar subsidy teat?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  197. Aisha

    Tere's a reason why these entitlements have been put into place Jack,. If our America was so great back then, then these social programs would not have been put into place. In the past, we may have had great schools but it was only the rich that could afford it and high education. There was no middle class and the rich dominated American politics and ffeasted on the poor. These programs are not hand-outs, they're government aids. Iam dissapointed in how you feel about them. If you ever perhaps experienced being poor and had to depend on them just to survive, then you would not have such views about them. These programs are really what makes America so great, that the seniors and the poor have security to aid them to survive. It is typical of you and the republicans to consider it as handout, considering that the rich often think about themselves and no other. You're fine financially so you dont need these programs, and if the poor had the choice, they wouldnt have to depend on them either. But it's not. You seem to be one of those who think poverty is a choice, it is downright scary that we have politicians with similar thinking "representing" the people. I'm canadian and my dad would not have been able to focus on classes to help him with acceptance to the phd program if welfare didnt take many burdens off his shoulder. As a result, he has a good paying job in his field as a professor. We only went on the welfare for 3 years, but the result? Tremendous. What people like you do is try to abolish the American dream from those who have the will and the drive, and the intelligence but not the money. It's a shame how dissconnected you people are from reality.

    Ottawa, Canada

    April 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  198. Conor in Chicago

    If you are not well versed in the history of the United States, at a basic collegiate level, from the years of roughly 1867-1929, and you side with the Tea Party and Ron Paul on this issue you, you have no idea what you are asking for. None. And therein lies the irony of it all: A totally uneducated populace, unaware of all their ancestors fought for, all screaming in tandem to give all back to the elite wealthy in the name of "Freedom".

    You people amaze me.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  199. linda

    altho mr paul ls alittle too libertarian for my taste, i tend to agree with him on some issues. he also once eluded to the fact that empires tend to collapse under their own weight. i agreed with it then and now. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do simple math. we can't afford all this; not 3 wars, rebuilding OUR country, and responsibility to house and feed 1 in 6 citizens! ...restructure congress.. there's too many chiefs resulting in no progress, FACE IT, the bohemeth doesn't function any longer. you want everyone else to run leaner and meaner, yet you fatcats don't "share" any pain. take away the healthcare, pensions, free doctors, limos, support staff, planes, dining room privledges etc.. as far as i'm concerned, there is NO ONE there who represents me and the millions like me!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  200. Lary Nine

    "Is the end of the nanny state in the U.S. inevitable?"
    Mr. Cafferty;
    When you couch the question as quoted above, you skew the possible responses toward your own conclusion. Who doesn't want to 'grow up' and leave one's 'nanny' behind? Dear nurturing Nanny... Nanny of the horn of plenty and the buxom busom... underwriting junior's development into real self-reliant manhood. Balderdash!
    The only difficulty with this clever metaphor is...it's a metaphor. Today's 'nanny' is America's social contract of the people with themselves! It's a legacy of the New Deal and was directly responsible for building our strong middle class. It provides rules for the game and regulates the leveling of the playing field. This is no 'nanny' state... no economic lullabye at the cradle. It's the 'tough-as-nails' America's promise to the people.. by the people... for the people. It codifies and guarantees the nation's pledge of economic fairness and social equanimity of the to all . It's about a fair crack at the vaunted American Dream.
    I find no nanny here, sir.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  201. Marina

    Our nanny state will have to be drastically reduced if the middle class doesn't return to work soon since they're the ones paying the taxes that keep the nanny state going.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  202. Cynthia

    Here's my problem, until they first stop subsidies for RICH people and businesses....corporate welfare for oil companies who pay less taxes than I do....trillion dollar tax breaks on top of trillion dollar tax breaks on top of more unpaid for tax breaks for those who got richer, at the expense of our countries future, I don't beleive we have the right to ask those with the least in this country, those who were devastated by the crash of our economy – and are currently more concerned with what they will feed their children this week, than where to hide their money from the government or which tax attorney will do the best job of making sure the rich pay NO TAXES – until the rich pay, not MORE, but pay THEIR FAIR SHARE, NOT HIDE IT, OR PAY IT TO TAX ATTORNEYS instead of the federal government, until the rich pay the same fair share as the rest of us.....I don't think we have the right to ask the poor to bear that burden....ask me about killing programs for the poor, AFTER we first ask the rich to actually PAY their fair share.....because they haven't done so in far too long....then, and only then, can you ask me about cutting our social safety net programs.....especially since the cuts that have been proposed DON'T SAVE US A PENNY.....THEY ARE ALLL SO THAT WE CAN DROP TAXES FOR THE RICH BY ANOTHER TEN PERCENT?? I'm supposed to pay 39 percent, but if I was a millionaire I should only have to pay 25 percent/ At the expense of poor and sick people????

    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  203. Mark

    Come on Jack, you're failing to mention that back in the glory days of the United States that people and politicians had no problem with taxes and imposing taxes to right the budgets and pay for programs. Republicans want to pay for things with a negative balance then are shocked...absolutely shocked when they have to cut necessary programs and the people who work in them with crocodile tears. There is a reason why only Democratic presidents have balanced the budget.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  204. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Haven't you forgotten a few things? Like the life expectancy back then, how many people died in sweat shops or of starvation, and for that matter, all the reasons we created these programs in the first place?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  205. Mike in Dutchess County, NY

    1 in 6?...that's ridiculous. You have to fix what is broken first. This is senseless, unethical and obviously unsustainable. Nobody cares about the big picture anymore...just, what's in it for me...take the money and run. I hope the day does come and the enough public support exists to put an end to these programs. Thank you for bringing it to the news. Hopefully the 5 in 6 not entitled wake up now and put an end to it.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  206. Michael Cox

    What came before wasn't as great as you describe. I've talked to people that lived back then and they talk of hunger and hardship. I have to rely on rent subsidies and I work for a living but I still don't make enough to pay the rent and eat at the same time. If you want millions more people starving out on the streets and a sharp increase in crime (since there will be more desperate people) go ahead and get rid of the social programs.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  207. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    The nanny state that coddles the millionaires and billionairs with tax breaks, deregulations and such entitlements must end. Social Security did NOT cause our economic crisis. The bankers and Wallstreet got us into this mess. The Fed printed up trillions of dollars to bail them out. And, they still can't make it without pushing their mistakes on to the shoulders of the working poor! Cancel the welfare entitlements for the rich, and for Rand Paul.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  208. Wallace Freeman

    Remember that phrase "Taxation without representation!" that was fundamental to our revolution? That is what we have today. The enablers of the Democratic Party want to "tax the rich" to pay for their constituency's votes but they would blanch at giving the rich, or our corporations, increased voting power commensurate with this increased tax burden for that would result in the widespread unemployment of nanny state Democrat politicians.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  209. Floyd R. Hyatt, M.D.

    Yes, it is ineviatble for the cradle to grave nanny state to come to an end. We simply cannot afford it. I am a practicing physcian in Erie, Pa. and I can tell you what I think about obamacare as well. Tell me that we can enroll between 20 and 30 million more people in medicare in the next decade and decrease funding for medicare by half a billion dollars at the same time and there will be no decrease in care. That"s a real magic trick even Houdini would be proud of. Somehow, the american people don"t seem to see a contridiction! I already pay 35 percent of my income in federal income taxes but I guess that's not my fair share. Question: what would be–50, 75, 100% to keep the nanny state going?

    April 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  210. Robert

    Jack, the mills where my immigrant grandfathers worked has been shuttered for decades, and the millions of other jobs where non-English speaking, uneducated people could make a living are now in China. The saftey-net will go away because people like you still think the good old days of full employment still exists, and vote accordingly

    April 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  211. jesse

    Jack I always find it amazing that Ron and you believe that way because you both have a job!! A good job!!! I wonder if you both would feel that way if you were in their position. I think not!! You guys act like people want to have hand outs. Give me a break!!!
    You mention the old days when it wasn't like this. Your right Jack it was called salvery!! They had free labor and only had to feed them once in a while!!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  212. van allen neff

    GIVE ME A BREAT Im a 58 year old white{not that it matters} male who worked and paid taxes for 26 years. If i get hurt(which I did) i get my soc sec a little earley. If I lose my Job{which I did] I get a little change until I find another. Thats the deal. You and Ron can turn a voting repub. into a demo. fast. Just because you dont need it doesnt mean I dont. get off the horse van in Birmingham Alabama

    April 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  213. Karla Newmark

    The "nanny state" that needs to end here is our coddling of the ultra-rich. Everybody says that to be American we must accept paying more for gasoline, food, basic care. Why do the tax cuts for the rich have to continue? Wouldn't it make them good Americans to do without that new yacht or million-dollar birthday party? How 'bout a little sacrifice from these people who would still be able to eat and have a roof over their heads even without a few million less.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  214. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    It may be inevitable but if it does not coincide with the end of the wasteful state, the nepotistic state, the corrupt state, then challenging times are indeed ahead. I never thought for example that it was the governments responsibility to create jobs. But since conniving with industry, scheming on trade agreements that ended jobs and permitted companies to downsize in the U.S.A. and go offshore for cheap labor, the government now owns the problem. I see this as some life extension for the "nanny"!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  215. richard

    This countries distibution of the peoples money is way out of line. We give people and countries money we do not have to give. Our country gives OUR money, that we have saved, from our paychecks for decades, to anyone that comes into our country, without us having any control of OUR money. We are in hard times, and need to take care of our selves as a country of US CITIZENS. Not give our money to the "woes" of the world. If we stopped giving all the funds to other countries and causes, we would not have the deficit we have, and our own people would have there own money that we have saved for. Welfare is a complete farce. it should be mandatory for drug testing to receive, and a limited time offer till individuals can get on there feet. It is no longer an honor to be an American. We the people should be ashamed of ourselves to allow this gov't to have taken our money and spend it the way they are. I am outraged by us as a people, and even more so by our gov't be able to do this to us.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  216. Ivan Olsen

    Yes ,it is true there is way too many govt. handouts that are being used by people. And as you state long ago less educated people made a good living , some without even speaking english, but you fail to remember that back then they had" factories, assembly lines, mills and other physical places to work." A big part of the problem comes from the fact that Big Money found out that they could mke more money & pay more to the shareholders with cheap labor overseas.
    Maybe not all of these people would be willing to work , but one heck of a lot of them would, if they had a chance at decent jobs.
    Both parties need to start working together, instead of spitting in each others face. And do something to help change this mess.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  217. Gail Mellor, Louisville KY

    Yes, though more efficiently and without the misogynist term "nanny." The US has through public funding created opportunity from the start. In the 1700s, we invented public mail delivery which hugely spurred small business, in the 1800s we gave chances to pioneers by giving them land to farm and tools to do it. In the 1900s New York (where most immigrants were) created chance with excellent public schools, topflight public colleges, small business help, museums and concerts in the park, with taxation of the biggest corporations and the most wealthy. FDR brought that system to states like Kentucky, bled dry by coal barons. Health is the basic opportunity, something which even Nixon saw.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  218. Trevor Shrock

    If they take away unemployment, welfare, bankrupt social security, privatize Medicare what the am I paying taxes for. It's not for roads our roads are falling apart. Our power grid is barley hanging on.

    We are failing fast.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  219. David Cartwright, Oakville Ontario

    I've never thought of the US being a nanny state, but it's drifting that way. No one wants to have their precious program cut so here is an idea that's probably so simple it won't even be considered.
    Why not cut 5% off every government department from Social Security to farm subsidies to Congress and every government employee salaries to the defence department etc. Let's don't forget getting rid of consultants.

    And when that's done cut another 5%.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  220. Michael Adams

    I'm amazed that when those who are a slave to the idea of free market capitalism, find it easy to see the paradox of other political- economic systems, but cannot fathom the paradox of our own system. For the only reason that we have the nanny state is that it exists to compensate for our brand of de facto social Dawinism, and its natural exclusion of those who are competively challenged in a political system that gives unquestioned equality to the governed. One is a pyramid. The other is a sphere! But what really wierd about how we think about competition (the basis of capitalism) is that we seem to act as if it were some transcendent convention of the human intellect, when it is simply an animalistic impulse to survive, thrive and control. So, we struggle to find reasons to justify our dislike for its consequence by deluding ourselves that the government and the people are separate entities, when they are one and the same. Thus, we have the nanny state because most people who don't have an ax to grind with tthe perceived "inferiors" of our society, understand that to not have welfare for those truly in need, will generate more tragedy than merely having budget deficits that is more a reflection of a corrupted orligarchy that poor people with their hands out!

    April 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  221. Maggieb

    We need to remove all illegals from entitlements, We need to lower business taxes like canada did to get back business in america/
    Unions and EPA have caused business to close or go overseas . It needs to stop

    Houston Texas

    April 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  222. John Wickliffe

    End government control over individual lives, impossible! THE 5 TON GORILLA in the room is population pressure. When population to resource level is low everyone can get a peck of apples off the tree, but as the ratio decrees one gets only a slice or two and humans being the greedy animals we are some want more then others therefore some- one must ration the fruit and that is the job of the government. Quality of life is diametrically opposed to quanity ie. the more people the less freedom.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  223. Tim

    Why don't you ask why the bankers an speculators who created this depression are not required to pay to support those in this country whom they have thrown out of the middle class back into hunger and poverty. Jack, you are an idiot! Go replace Beck on FOX!! That's where you belong.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  224. Ralph Sato

    Why are so many Americans dependent on unemployment compensation, food stamps, and rent subsidies? The answer is clear – because of the poor economy. Unemployment has been over 9% since 2008 and refuses to go down. President Obama inherited the deep recession this country is in from President George W Bush. The economic stimulus package of 2009 prevented the Bush recession from becoming much worse but was insufficient to boost growth to pre-recession levels. What is the historical record? During the nineties, President Clinton through a combination of measures produced record prosperity and job growth of 22 million new jobs. He miraculously produced a Federal surplus of over 2 billion dollars by the end of his second term. President Bush threw the Clinton surplus into the wastebasket ending his second term with not just a record deficit but a deep recession as well. This is the reason why we have a nanny state today. The Republican economic record is clear. It is one of failure while the Democratic record is one of success – reason enough to reject the (Paul) Ryan budget proposals which are being debated in Congress this week. Ryan's draconian proposals to privatize Medicare and Medicaid would neuter and in the long run destroy these two vital and successful programs. To prevent widespread destitution in the US comparable to Great Depression magnitudes and the Ryan budget must be rejected. Written from Honolulu, Hawaii.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  225. Nick D. Neighbour

    Which "Nanny State" did you mean Jack?
    Did you mean the United States? That just announced a RECORD number of BILLIONAIRES?
    Is THAT the "Nanny" State you meant??
    Nick. N.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  226. Adam G.

    Why aren't we being asked what we want? Why in all this tax-cut talk aren't the people being asked what they want their tax dollars spent on or what we are willing to sacrifice? So far all we've heard is what Washington is or isn't willing to give up. I'm willing to pay more taxes if that's what it takes to make sure my kids have a future in this country. Senate can argue all they want, but until the we, the people, are asked what we want, we will never be happy, or employed.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  227. Robert Wassermann

    The government is not the nanny state. We the people are the nannies. We need to decide whether we want to help the less fortunate among us or let people amass obscene fortunes.

    We can decide whether we want Bill Gates to amass 56 billion dollars or prevent the thousands of people dying because of lack of health care.

    We can decide whether we want Warren Buffett to amass 50 billion dollars or prevent the thousands of teachers from being fired.

    We can decide whether we want Larry Ellison to amass 40 billion dollars or prevent the thousands of police and firemen from being fired.

    You are right Jack, we don’t need a nanny state, we need and angry state.

    April 14, 2011 at 5:59 pm |