Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what your country has done for you lately.
With apologies to John F. Kennedy, that's what concerned citizens should be doing to get their heads around the debate in Washington about the appropriate size and role of government.
Despite how riveted we are by Washington blood sports, average citizens don't always understand what "government" means. That's not because they're dumb; it's because the nature of government — especially the programs it pays for that affect most Americans — has changed drastically.