President Obama posed it as a rhetorical question. One answer, based on our history: a place where states ran old age pensions.
In President Obama's speech on jobs and the economy Thursday night, he asked, "What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?" I am almost certain that I know the answer, at least when it comes to the former program, and the answer is neither the Marco Rubio fantasy, where private charity, churches and families take care of poor old people, nor the imagined liberal world where no one takes care of old people. Had Congress not passed Social Security, we'd be the kind of country where, during the Great Depression, various state governments passed pension programs, some of them more radical than Social Security, others less so.
After all, the impetus for Social Security wasn't a proposal by President Roosevelt and his staffers, it was a bottom up grassroots movement of older Americans. If their national movement to pass something like the Townsend Plan's $150 per month for people over 60 had been completely stymied, popular support for old age pensions would've flowed into state plans.