Medicare, of course. But defense as well:

If an analyst had proposed, during the Reagan administration, that the U.S. outspend the Soviet Union by a factor of 5-10, he or she would have been laughed out of government by Republicans and Democrats alike. Today, however, debate over the defense budget almost never results from the question "How much do we need to spend?", or even "Should we spend more or less?", but rather "How much more should we spend?"

And the empire rolls on ...

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.