A Nation of Moochers: America's Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing
Charles J. Sykes
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We have experienced a shift in American character: we've become a nation of moochers. Increasingly dependent on the efforts of others over our own, Americans are free to freeload. From the corporate bailouts on Wall Street to the alarming increases in personal default and dependency, from questionable tax exemptions to enormous pension, healthcare, and other entitlement costs, the new moocher culture cuts across lines of class, race, and private and public sectors. And the millions that plan and behave sensibly, only to bail out the profligate? They're angry.
Charles Sykes' argument is not against compassion or legitimate charity, but targets the new moocher culture, in which self-reliance and personal responsibility have given way to mass grasping after handouts. A Nation of Moochers is a persuasively argued and entertaining rallying cry for Americans who are tired of playing by the rules and paying for those who don't.
million, a $200,000 annual pension requires savings of $5 million, and so on. Scandals This taxpayer largesse falls on the worthy and the unworthy alike. A Buffalo police detective, serving forty-five years in prison, is collecting a $40,544 annual pension; so too is disgraced New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, who collected a $166,000 pension even after pleading guilty to a felony corruption charge. Not even a conviction for sexually abusing five members of a Boy Scout troop he once
per-child credit, the college student credit, the Making Work Pay credit, eligibility for a homebuyer credit, along with deductions for her IRA and for student loan interest. Especially for the middle class, noted Forbes, the tax code has become “a blatant shell game. Congress gives with one hand and takes with the other.”5 The Parent (and Student) Tax The big hammer, however, is the cost of college, an especially tricky and onerous problem for the middle class. To qualify for need-based
“Congressional Oversight.” 9. Hagan, “Tenacious G.” 10. Carney, Obamanomics, 165. 11. Louise Story and Gretchen Morgenson, “In U.S. Bailout of A.I.G., Forgiveness for Big Banks,” New York Times, June 29, 2010. 12. Ibid. 13. Congressional Oversight Committee, “Congressional Oversight.” 14. Story and Morgenson, “In U.S. Bailout.” 15. Congressional Oversight Committee, “Congressional Oversight.” 16. Ibid. 17. Ibid. 18. Ibid. 19. Graham Bowley, “With Big Profit, Goldman Sees Big Payday
Richard L. S&L crisis Social Democratic Party Social Security cost of/spending on reform of unemployment benefits’ impact on The Social Network (movie) Sowell, Thomas spending by Bush, George W. on food stamps on health service subsidies on Medicaid on Medicare by Obama pork on Social Security on social services, San Francisco statistics on on welfare Steyn, Mark stigma of dependency agricultural subsidies and food stamps and liberalism’s impact on meal programs, school,
about $318,000 but figures the home’s value has dropped to $230,000 or less. After agonizing over the pros and cons, he decided recently to stop making loan payments, even though he can afford them. Mr. Figg plans to rent an apartment nearby, saving about $700 a month.” The Journal reported that such defaults were especially popular in Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada. (James R. Hagerty and Nick Timiraos, “Debtor’s Dilemma: Pay the Mortgage or Walk Away,” Wall Street Journal, December 17,