If we seek social insurance for the least well off, the size of government relative to the economy need not change much from historical norms. If middle-class entitlements are our goal, the size of government will increase. If the public accepts such a vision, a tax system that can raise much more revenue from many more people will be needed. Industrial economies with much larger welfare states than the United States typically pay for that largesse with less progressive, broader-base tax systems.
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