The frustration of the New Orleans victims was angrily directed at President Bush, voiced in the demands for immediate federal action. In other words, incapable local political structures complained that the central government didn’t come flying to the rescue soon enough.

This is not a rare occasion in American politics. The entitlement mentality is now deeply entrenched in all areas of society, and the most prominent example of this is the widespread addiction to welfare that has tragically crippled the livelihood of countless Americans. Low-income households have become entirely dependent on government welfare checks, to the point where they cease to be a part of the workforce and no longer contribute to society. In addition, it has bred the mindset that it is one’s right to have the government rescue you from any crisis or uncomfortable situation.

Clearly neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights therein state a right to safety nets and government intervention, but these tenets are now precedent. This kind of welfare addiction can no longer be labeled as merely a low-income problem.

The recent housing crisis has throughly upset the national economy. As the housing bubble burst and prices finally began to decline, it was found that mortgages were given to recipients that could never hope to pay them back. This was heavily encouraged by the Clinton administration in an effort to give loans to minorities that could not afford housing. Such a policy, they believed, would promote “diversity.” Indeed it was in accordance with a law passed under the Carter administration that prohibited banks from “discriminating” against borrowers by denying them shaky loans.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-created entities, led the charge in pursuing “affordable housing” for all, and it made a serious profit for the lending institutions that followed suit. President Bush allowed this irresponsible fiscal policy to continue, and we are now cashing the check of over a decade of government welfare in the form of bad loans. The total comes out to over $700 billon, and responsible taxpayers will now have to pay for the lower-income brackets that were suckered into this grand governmental scheme.

Make no mistake; this bailout is not a rescue of the poor. It is a welfare check for the rich. For years Wall Street has made a fortune off of these outrageous lending practices, goaded on by the very governmental agencies that were intended to regulate such malpractice. Now that their abuses have reached a critical mass, Democrats wish to save these companies from the financial ruin that they have brought upon themselves. Wall Street, along with Congressional Democrats and President Bush, claim that without a bailout, economic chaos would surely follow. On the contrary, rewarding lending institutions that have broken with basic free market principles will only encourage future abuse, and surely lead to financial disaster in the years to come. That is the welfare for the rich: assurance that the government will rescue big corporations, despite their total lack of financial prudence.

While a cruel reality, the players in this fiasco need to crash and burn. The free market is truly an arbiter of blind justice. Financial responsibility generally leads to wealth, while irresponsibility usually results in bankruptcy and failures. The market must be left to deal its judgment in the matter, for hard economic lessons must be learned if we are to avoid such a crisis in the future. Sadly, with even our nation’s wealthiest now demanding government rescue, the average American must, more than ever before, foot the bill for our ever-growing welfare addiction.