The following is commentary intended for discussion. Add your comments!
What do you think the federal government owes you? (Short list, please!)
Has your view changed over the years?
I remember thinking nothing of politics in college, and knowing even less. It was during the Reagan era and I remember people I knew talking about how terrible he was as a president.
All I know is that I had nothing, I probably qualified for welfare had I looked into it, but it never occurred to me that I was owed much of anything in tangible terms. And I thought my life was pretty good. Every day was a new opportunity for me to figure out a way to make the best of my life, to be self-sufficient, to plan for a future I could afford and enjoy.
This is not to say there aren't plenty of legitimate viewpoints, of course, in line with "The federal government owes me..."
I would say today I feel as if the federal government owes me (but does not deliver on) the guarantee of collecting as little tax dollars as possible, and to use what it collects wisely and efficiently without corruption, waste or fraud.
I feel like the federal government owes me to monitor national security on my behalf and take reasonable, efficient steps to protect the nation.
I feel like the federal government owes me to stay out of my way when I try to accomplish things on my own, meaning not install bureaucratic roadblocks that make life harder rather than better. Also it should not interfere in the free flow of legal information by taking steps that lend themselves toward censorship or control.
And I feel like the federal government owes me to treat itself and its officials the same way ordinary Americans get treated, without favor. In other words, if an FBI attorney breaks a certain law, his penalty should be as harsh as what you or I would get if we committed the crime.
I could probably think of more. What do you think?