Have we become a 'You scratch my back, and...you scratch my back' society?

I don’t think it’s too late, but we’re getting dangerously close…

Today, more Americans receive some sort of government assistance than ever before, while the number of citizens actually paying income taxes is dwindling – an unsustainable trend that is a recipe for economic and social disaster.Just look at Europe.

Europe’s relatively slower growth, higher unemployment, decreased standard of living and increasing civil discontent are precursors to what we’ll experience in the United States if policy makers continue to ignore excessive entitlement spending, or attempt to merely pay for it by increasing tax rates.

So what do we do?Republicans leaders in congress are afraid to embrace entitlement reforms since Democrats have pummeled them in the past when they’ve dared to try. At stake are the millions of votes from Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, subsidized housing, food stamp and other welfare recipients.

But, Rep. Paul Ryan has stepped forward from the crowd to offer a comprehensive reform proposal that would put entitlement programs on the path to solvency and long-term sustainability by encouraging personal responsibility and independence. Love it or hate it, Ryan’s Roadmap for America is a courageous start.

There’s been a lot of talk among conservatives regarding entitlement reform and Ryan’s Roadmap, but is anyone listening? Will anyone in the 112th Congress be willing to take on the one issue that promises to destroy the country if we ignore it?

We will never be able to balance the federal budget or significantly decrease the deficit until congress commits to the unpopular task of tackling entitlements.

Entitlement reforms will hurt, no doubt about it. But, this is one can that can not be kicked down the road any farther. Demand that it not.