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In a speech yesterday in Elyria, Ohio — a small town just outside Cleveland sitting at the forks of the Black River — President Barack Obama delivered a politically charged speech in which he hearkened back to the country’s roots, saying that his opponents “don’t seem to remember how America was built.” In his view, taxpayers want their money spent in ways that will help further “the larger project we call America.” In other words, more spending and bigger government paid for with higher taxes.

But how commonplace is government waste? Given the sheer size and scope of the government — which is set to spend $3.8 trillion this year — it’s impossible to say. But just as pernicious as the countless billions that have been squandered is the cancerous attitude that has taken hold in Washington and that is metastasizing across the land. It’s one of thoughtless entitlement in which individuals who live off the bureaucratic beast reflexively take and spend more all while doing less, giving no consideration to those who fuel their appetites.

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