The next time you see footage of protesters befouling parks, clashing with police, and raving about injustice, ask yourself a question. If you were a business owner looking for new employees, could you convince yourself that a haircut or a trip to the laundry would change the belief that being an American means living off of the grace of the government, and by taxing and regulating those symbols of wealth with which protesters find fault?
Government paternalism and exorbitant pension costs helped destroy Greece’s economy, just as they are contributing to the downfall of many of our states. Spurred on by the White House’s vilifying of corporations, Wall Street, and the wealthy, Americans have followed Greece’s lead and gone to the streets, demanding to be taken care of. When times are good, money flows and no one worries about the costs of dependence. When times are bad and funds dry up, anger and resentment flourish, along with calls to redistribute the incomes of big business and the well-to-do.
Labor unions, illegal immigrants, public employees, and spendthrift state governments have helped to foster the belief that federal paternalism will save us. The president’s failure to stimulate a viable recovery has led to his strategy of direct spending for public jobs. In lieu of wealth creation from our diminishing manufacturing sector, he suggests we fund public employee salaries and union infrastructure jobs to support our growing public services sector.
The director of the Congressional Budget Office agrees with the president that tax revenues are part of the problem:
The key point is that the nation cannot continue to maintain the spending programs and policies of the past with the tax revenues it has been accustomed to paying.1
The options he offers are simple. Do we want more government, or do we want less government?
We will either have to pay more for our government, accept less in government services and benefits, or both.2
Few of us have the goal of living out our years on Social Security, or depending on other government entitlements just to get by. The myth of a government guaranteed income, and the new reality of federally-mandated health insurance, have been nurtured by Democrats asking us to accept their vow of security. Harry Reid tells us:
It [Social Security] promises all Americans that if they work hard and play by the rules, they can retire and live in dignity. 3
This is a tall promise when there is no Social Security trust fund, and we are running out of cash for future obligations. Fortunate public employees have a president fighting to guarantee their incomes, and many will receive pension and health benefits so generous that states like Illinois and California are candidates for bankruptcy. Private sector workers, on the other hand, would probably be happy just to have their jobs back, and the opportunity to fund their own future.
Arne Duncan, venturing outside of his field of expertise, added construction workers to the education spending mix:
The President’s bill [American Jobs Act] includes two education components,” Duncan explained. “It would keep teachers in the classroom instead of on unemployment lines. And it would put construction workers back to work modernizing and repairing public schools and community colleges.4
Calls for more infrastructure spending have been constant since we were promised growth from Recovery Act infrastructure projects nearly three years ago:
While many of Recovery Act projects are focused on jumpstarting the economy, others, especially those involving infrastructure improvements, are expected to contribute to economic growth for many years.5
If what we were told in 2009 was true, we would not be where we are now, faced with glacially slow growth, and assailed with demands to approve another stimulus package that repeats the same mistakes made at the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Preaching inequality and unfairness is the stock in trade of labor unions which, perversely, back protesters while living off of the earnings of their members. The president made his Saturday address from a GM plant in Detroit, talking about the rebirth of the auto industry, and adding Ford to the equation while ignoring new threats of a nationwide strike:
These trade agreements will support tens of thousands of American jobs. And we’ll sell more Fords, Chevys and Chryslers abroad stamped with three proud words – “Made in America.” 
GM exists because the Federal Government paid to support it, just like it pays to support state and local public employees, and unions through infrastructure projects. As long as there is money to be had, or to be taxed away, the president will foster dependence, maintain his personal illusion of success, and blame Republicans for the reality of our failing economy while the demands of his dependent masses fill the headlines.