In typical Washington style, a few needed programs have mushroomed into a giveaway bonanza. But how will all these potential gifts affect the country as a whole? Should we expect safer, healthier and more productive citizens, improved parenting or a better-educated and more empathetic society? I don’t expect to see any of that happen. We have created a nation of entitlement not requiring sacrifice, contribution and even citizenship.

I believe a national service requirement should be tied to many of the proposed entitlements. Serve your country in some meaningful way to earn entitlement. National service could improve the American fabric in many ways, plus save and redirect lives. For example, imagine the benefits for vulnerable young people of replacing a street drug culture with two to three years in the military, immigration or forest services. The country would save billions from reduced crime, prison and drug rehab costs and benefit from added manpower to provide needed services.

More important, thousands of young people would be helped to become all that they can be. I support that kind of entitlement.

Charlie Galloway
Kennebunk

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