There is plenty of blame to go around. Blame? It's not my fault. Contemporaneously to the living beyond our means has grown a society in which nothing is my fault. Result: "irresponsible entitlement".
Why are we surprised? We are into the third generation who have been trained to believe that we can live beyond our means; that we can spend ourselves rich; that we are entitled to so much more than any other people have ever had; that if we want it, then we need it; that the economy will endlessly generate more riches if only we will continue to spend; that there is no tomorrow, or if there is it will be brighter than today.
Now, we find that, unlike what we've been taught, living on someone else's money is not a sustainable economic program, either in the home or for the government. So, let's put on the brakes, stop, and fix the problem. Really? Those who have suggested sound principles by which to accomplish this are already hearing the outcry of the Entitled. I am Entitled to more services and lower taxes. I am Entitled to a guarantee of endless fiscal well-being. I am Entitled. You, on the other hand, should bite the bullet and stop behaving in such a piggish manner.
Most Americans, and I include those who are "below the poverty line," live better than most kings and princes throughout history were able to live in their wildest dreams, notwithstanding their coffers of gold and emeralds, and land and subjects to serve them. (Official poverty level for a family of four is in excess of $22,000, and thus those who fall below this mark are Entitled to my assistance. I do recognize that there are those among us to whom we must provide assistance, and do so with kindness and compassion.)
And I am one of the Entitled. After all, I paid into and accepted the conditions of the "Social Security" scheme along with everyone else. And I accept my monthly stipend, to which I consider myself Entitled. Should the "government" in its efforts to pull us out of our current mess, consider a reduction in my stipend? Certainly. And they should cut salaries and programs.
Is there hope? Certainly. Is there danger of failure? I like to hope not. I can dream, can't I?