Remember Bill Bennett's book of a few years ago about virtues? He listed a dozen virtues----all good and virtuous, but he didn't mention generosity as a virtue. I suspect his reason for this is that he didn't really think of generosity as a virtue. Few do actually.
People like generosity when they benefit. Generous savings at a store are greatly liked. Generous portions at a restaurant are always popular. But generosity towards others? Ha! Generosity is something people are towards you, not you towards them.
In 1961 President John Kennedy said the words, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." The nation he was speaking to in 1961 was not the same nation as today. The people listening were people who had sacrificed a great deal. Many had fought in Europe or in the Pacific. Others had endured the great sacrifices people made at home in order to support the war effort. The world view in 1961 was one of danger from Communism, a world view where segregation was still in existence but on the ropes, and there was a spirit of adventure. Space was the new frontier and there was much excitement ahead of us.
Above all people understood what sacrifice was about. Sacrifice was not an abstract concept but a reality.
Now the attitude is not about sacrifice but it's all about prosperity. Who is going to benefit ME the most?
Fiscal responsibility is, at least from a government perspective, a myth. The Republicans generally do cut taxes but they seem to enjoy pork a great deal. The main difference between the Republicans and the Democrats often seems to be that they both like pork, and one likes to pay now and the other wants to charge it and pay later. Pick your poison.
It's really the voters' fault. People generally do want the government programs and services. They simply don't want to pay for them. People generally desire Democratic services for Republican prices.
The reality is that people rarely want to sacrifice because we often struggle with being generous.
It is more blessed to give than to receive, it really is. Until we truly learn that valuable lesson people will always long for more and never be satisfied.