Barack Obama really is the new Blair (this is not intended as a compliment to either of them). Consider our national debt and deficit here in the UK. The single biggest financial burden within there is the payment of benefits of various kinds under the welfare state. More, even, than the cost of the NHS.
As Blair (plus the evil henchman, Gordon) gleefully discovered, if you increase the number of people on disability benefits, you get a delightful double whammy:
1. They’ll all vote Labour forever. You don’t bite the hand that feeds.
2. They’re off the official unemployment figures, because they’re sick/disabled/whatever.
In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.
Sounds familiar? As Ian Duncan Smith is nobly discovering, this particular mess is VERY hard to sort out.