Just a few comments about recent events, comments from conservative about 'entitlement' programs, 'government run healthcare', and the budget. It shocks me that people are so tremendously disengaged that they don't realize the complexity of the economic system at play in the United States, and how interdependent everything in our society is. Take from one place, and it will be paid for in another...whether that is in social disparity or another program having to pick up the slack.
Usually, it is a more expensive deal with a consequence after and issue, rather than just paying for it up front. Perhaps people should keep a 'credit card' sort of metaphor in their mind. If you repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), then insurance companies will drop high-risk clients, then they won't be contributing anything in premiums and will likely have to receive emergency care (which is always more expensive) at a later time, which will be paid for by the Emergency Medical Treatment Act (signed into law by Ronald Reagan)...but it will cost more than it would under the ACA. But this example is indicative to a number of cuts that are being considered.
I think that ultimately Americans need to decide what kind of society they want to be. Do we want one where people's needs (medical and otherwise) are accounted for? Where the arts are held up as a achievement of society? Where we educate our young better than anywhere else? Where someone can actually rise above circumstance and take a path of their own choosing? Well, we still have to pay for it...which is fine, but the society has to be willing to pay.
It seems that presently many Americans are only interested in their own gains and life, and really couldn't care less about the rest of society or their neighbors. In this kind of selfish perspective about the economy, government, jobs, and life in general...I fear that those with circumstance (and money) will just continue to power-grab and consume everything they possibly can. Once everything is privatized, as conservatives seem to want it, and the wealthy control how life plays out as the average person just struggles to keep afloat...why would that be a more freeing? If most have no real breaks, and can only be in a constant (even though willful) struggle against circumstances...how does one better anything in life or society?
I think that this is more about kingdoms and power. The powerful have built their kingdom on the opportunities given to them by a country with great protections of personal freedom, but ALSO programs and entitlement that enabled them to have their empires grow. Now that they have their kingdom, they would like to take away those things so that none can topple their castles.
So, now you are free to work in their kingdoms (those economic robber-barons), but don't expect more than that 1% of the population to ever actually be financially powerful. If you want a better America, don't buy that everyone can be rich, and don't buy that taxation paying for needed programs for society is a bad thing.