One Nation on Welfare

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The U.S. Capitol building stands prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC.

As Democrats in Charlotte tell it, Barack Obama is helping out the most deserving Americans with federal spending. Last week in Tampa, Republicans accused the President of giving Big Government credit for the private sector’s hard work. Here’s the reality, as Michael Grunwald writes in this week’s magazine, now available online to subscribers: We’re all on the government dole. Republicans have tried to divide the country into bold entrepreneurs and leeching welfare queens. But while everyone who works is a “maker,” we’re all “takers” too. In describing his own heavily subsidized life, Grunwald gets at the intractable nature of tax expenditures and other government goodies that balloon the deficit while pampering those Americans who already have it pretty easy. His opening:

The sun is shining on Miami Beach, and I wake up in 
 subsidized housing. I throw 
 on a T-shirt made of subsidized 
 cotton, brush my teeth with 
 subsidized water and eat cereal made of subsidized grain.

Soon the chaos begins, two hours of pillow forts, dance parties and other craziness with two hyper kids and two hyper Boston terriers, until our subsidized nanny arrives to watch our 2-year-old. My wife Cristina then drives to her subsidized job while listening to the subsidized news on public radio. I bike our 4-year-old to school on public roads, play tennis on a public court
 and head home for a subsidized shower. Then I turn on my computer with subsidized electricity and start work in my subsidized home office.

It’s just another manic Monday, brought to us by the deep pockets of Big Government. The sunshine is a natural perk, and while our kids are tax deductible, the fun we have with them is not. The dogs are on our dime too. Otherwise, taxpayers help support just about every aspect of our lives.

Go ahead and read the whole thing.