Anyway, my overarching point - as it has been for years now - is that if strong social safety nets were really so bad economically, then why are the nations with the strongest social safety nets the ones that are generally the most stable, with the highest standards of living, and the healthiest economically?
I say that the social safety net, instead of being a drag on the economy, is an essential part of growing the economy. Instead of having a vast income inequality with the poorest of the poor being lucky to get $2/day as in so many third-world nations, our 'poor' are still generally well off when compared to what's found in third-world nations. What's more, they spend pretty much every penny they get, which boosts the local economy, which boosts the nation's economy as a whole. In other words, yes, conservatives are right that taxes are wealth redistribution, but it's that wealth redistribution that makes the economy healthier as a whole...and the proof lay in all the first-world socialized democracies on the planet.
And if we have a significantly higher minimum wage, that takes some of the pressure off the taxpayer - and the tax revenue can go to pay for other improvements or, maybe, just maybe, the debt.