Alexander Benard, at NRO:
With his stimulus bill and his 2009 budget, President Obama has proposed sweeping changes to our political and economic system that would move the United States squarely in the direction of a social-welfare state. America has no experience with such a system — but Europe does. Americans must learn from our brethren across the Atlantic how social-welfare states operate, and what impact social welfarism has had on European society.
It's a good article. Go read. Link in title. One more bit:
Part of the argument in favor of Obama’s stimulus plan was that America’s infrastructure supposedly lags far behind that found in Western European countries, notably Germany. To the extent that this is true, there should be no illusions about why: Large sums of money are taken from Germans so that their government can build grandiose airports, fancy trains, and extravagant government buildings. This means the average German is left with less discretionary income, which is why middle-class Germans have smaller homes than Americans, more limited personal savings, and less money to spend on entertainment, housing, and food. The German system is a reallocation of wealth from the people to the government. Government ends up with more, so government-funded projects look nicer; people end up with less, so they do not live as well or have as many economic choices and opportunities as citizens in economically freer countries.