When Ronald Reagan was in office, it was about one in ten. Now one out of five dollars that flow into the pockets of Americans comes from a government check (not counting wages and salaries).
Among Americans without a high-school diploma, just two out of five are working.
The trouble is that too many Americans are dependent on government help. The most courageous Republican in the country is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the man who took on the government unions — and he faces a recall election in June, with polls showing the voters split down the middle. Obama is hoping that Americans will circle the wagons around their existing entitlements — that they have been down so long that they have forgotten what it feels like to be in an economy driven by entrepreneurship.
David P. Goldman is the columnist “Spengler” for Asia Times Online; his latest book is How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too).