Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State

Source: Speech on Never Enough
Heritage Foundation
June 06, 2010

While politicians blame party rivals for the impending economic and political crisis, the growing reliance on government assistance, and the projected $10 trillion debt over the next decade, the American people are left with ambiguous rhetoric, unanswered questions, and anxiety over their financial futures.  In his debut publication, Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, William Voegeli argues that the failure to speak clearly and candidly about the welfare state’s limits has wide-reaching and grave consequences, as America continues to incur obligations it can’t afford while failing to establish priorities for the welfare state’s finite resources.  Devoting particular attention to liberals’ failure – or refusal – to provide a limiting principle and rigorous criteria for the welfare state, Voegeli shatters liberal arguments that the government needs still more dramatic expansions of its spending and programs to meet its obligations.  Never Enoughassesses what liberalism’s lack of a limiting principle means for the decades-old argument between liberals and conservatives as well as the policy choices confronting America in a new century.

William Voegeli is a Visiting Scholar at the Henry Salvatori Center at Claremont McKenna College and a contributing editor to the Claremont Review of Books.  His reviews and articles have appeared in City Journal, First Things, In Character, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and The New Criterion. Professor Voegeli holds a doctorate in political science from Loyola University in Chicago.