Yesterday morning, on the Fourth of July, I awoke to news reports that went something like this: "How dependent are Americans on the government and government programs on this Independence Day?"
I had to laugh...or perhaps I should have cried. Sure, there are lots of Americans who partake of what the government has to offer. Sure we, especially the right, can blame President Barack Obama. But there are a few realities I want to point out:
- More people signed up for food stamps under President George W. Bush than President Obama.
- There are less people on unemployment today than one year ago.
- Many who want to cut and slash government programs push for government programs to go through, such as farm subsidies.
- Polls show over half of those who receive government student loans and grants do not consider themselves to be receiving any governmental assistance.
Which prompts me to ask: Are the Bush tax cuts a government handout? Hmmm.
Here is another reality: As I drove into work yesterday morning, I heard over 40 individuals who fight in our military on a base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, being sworn in as naturalized American citizens. It brought a tear to my eye.
See folks, there is a reason people come here to work, to study, even leave their country with their child and belongings on their back and risk imprisonment or deportation to come to America. Although the streets may not be paved with gold, this is the land of opportunity. And on Independence Day, we were reminded of those who have gone before us: the pilgrims who risked their lives for freedom; George Washington and his troops who risked their lives for freedom; our military, who risk their lives for our freedom, etc. For at the end of the day, with all of our troubles and our differences, we're still the best damn country around, and there is no place I would rather call home. I'm proud to be an American.
- Read Peter Roff: Happy Birthday, America
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