A good friend of mine 45 years ago said that the first level of support when you needed help should be your family, then your church, then your local community. Somewhere, mainly between FDR and Lyndon Johnson, we moved most of that to Washington. We removed the personal, positive feeling you get from helping someone. We made it something not offered but “entitled.”
Even more sadly, we removed the feeling of appreciation someone has when they know someone took their own resources and gave it to them to help them. The people in the United States still give more voluntarily (not to Washington) than any country in the world. We should be proud of that.
There is a time when only something as powerful at the federal government can solve problems, such as TARP to save the banking industry. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we took care of the rest ourselves?