Even as the country deals with the crisis of the “fiscal cliff,” there’s another crisis waiting in the wings. “The second act will occur early in 2013 when the federal government will exhaust its ability to issue debt legally,” writes Heritage’s J. D. Foster.

As computer programmers would say, the seemingly endless series of crises isn’t a bug; it’s a feature, a fundamental debate over the future of the country.

With Obamacare in place, the left has finished building its dream: a liberal welfare state. Yet that dream seems likely to turn into a nightmare. Without massive tax increases on the middle class, the welfare state is simply not affordable. “The foundation is falling out from beneath the building just as they have finished construction,” quips Yuval Levin.

That’s why Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, remains upbeat that the future of the country is conservative.

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