Mike Needham
Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than one month after Osama bin Laden's demise, President Obama's poll numbers dropped back below 50%. According to a Washington Post / ABC poll, the bin Laden bounce is gone, replaced by growing concern over the state of America's economy. This is not merely a political challenge, but a challenge for our nation.

President Obama and his big-government allies are creating a liberal welfare state where government dependency is a way of life. Between 1962 and 2009, government support for a dependent person grew from just over $7,000 to nearly $32,000. They’re policies, like Obamacare, will only accelerate the trend we’ve seen over the past forty years.

It is no wonder we are on the verge of a new era of American pessimism. Achieving the American Dream becomes increasingly difficult when that dream is dependent upon bureaucrats and lawmakers in Washington who may or may not have your best interests at heart.

But this does not have to be our destiny. The ideas to turn our country around and leave our children and grandchildren and exceptional nation are out there. There are plans in Congress (see Paul Ryan). There are plans by think tanks (see Heritage’s Saving the American Dream). There are plans on the campaign trail (see Tim Pawlenty).

These plans have all have one thing in common: They emphasize individualism and America’s traditional entrepreneurial spirit.

Much has been made of the House Republican Budget, which seeks to set our nation on a different, more sustainable and prosperous course. In a recent speech, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said, “we aim to restore the dynamism that has defined America over the generations, unleashing the genius of America's workers-investors-and entrepreneurs and strengthening the foundations of economic growth and job creation now and in the future.”

Exactly right. Government dependency undermines the foundation of our country’s national identity and the future of economic growth. In Chicago, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty summarized the conservative agenda well, saying, “once we unleash the creative energy” of Americans, we’ll see a “booming job market will reduce demand for government assistance.”

The Heritage Foundation, the intellectual beacon of the conservative movement, has put forth a transformational vision for America, which will unleash the creativity of the American entrepreneur by permanently balancing the budget within 10 years without raising taxes.

Mike Needham

Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Action for America, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to advancing legislation that promotes freedom, opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.