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Which came first—government or the egg?

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Has our nation and its leader lost the faith in the true American dream, what we once knew as “good old American ingenuity?” Could it be that this lack of faith is at the root of the belief that for the first time a majority of Americans think they will be less well off than their parents? Instead of a nation that encourages and challenges its youth, and, for that matter, all of its citizens, to contribute to society and take pride in their hard work, today we find our president promoting the concept of getting ahead when government leads the way: "But there are critical actions we must take to support businesses and encourage new ones — that means we need the best infrastructure, a good education system, and affordable, domestic sources of clean energy. Those are investments we make not as individuals, but as Americans, and our nation as a whole benefits from them."

At a time when more than half the population pays no federal income taxes, nearly 53 percent of young Americans are unemployed and living at home, the US poverty rate is the highest since the war on poverty in the 1960s, the federal government is encouraging the use of food stamps as a “win” for everyone, the average federal employee earns a wage and benefits higher than a comparable private sector employee, the country’s deficit continues to grow at a staggering rate and a president who travels around the country demanding that high wage earners pay their fair share when the top 10 percent wage earners already shoulder more than 70 percent of the load, something seems very out of place in the country.

This should be a time when the message is clear and national pride steps to the forefront. It’s time for us all to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Everyone needs to pitch in as there are no free rides, and those who once thought they could get a free ride from the system are too embarrassed to now seek that route. As a nation we need leaders who challenge us all to pull our fair share, not just a select few. We need the government worker and the private sector worker to look for ways to improve production, increase efficiency and find ways to economize and do more with less. We need to curb our government spending and we need to applaud all who take up this challenge to get America back on track. We don’t need divisive speeches pitting Americans against Americans, haves against have-nots, liberals versus conservatives. This is a time to have each other’s backs and not be back stabbing each other. The task is great, but the American spirit, if it still burns, is up to the challenge.

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