• By Bill O'Reilly

    Fifty years ago in the summer of 1962, John F. Kennedy was president and the Cold War was raging. Americans are firmly behind JFK even after he screwed up the invasion of Cuba, his approval rating was around 80 percent.

    The country was united against communism and most of us shared common values -- hard work, love of family, love of God. Back then, just six percent of Americans received welfare. Most families didn't have very much but made do without taking from other people.

    I remember my mother and father scraping by... hot dogs, tuna, spaghetti, a used car, no air-conditioning, one black and white TV, one vacation week a year, a car trip to a lake in Vermont. But nobody complained. My Levittown, New York neighborhood was considered working class but so what? We had fun we appreciated what we did have.

    A few miles away in Garden City there was an amazing amount of, quote, "income inequality on display." In that neighborhood folks had all the comforts. But never once did I hear my parents utter a jealous word. Never once.

    Now, 35 percent of American homes receive some kind of welfare. And that doesn't include Social Security or Medicare which we, the American workers, pay into. "Talking Points" is not talking about that.

    I'm talking about the more than 100 million Americans who are currently getting taxpayer funds from other Americans because they can't or won't earn enough to support themselves. In 50 years, we've gone from six percent to 35 percent in this arena.

    How can the Democratic Party continue to believe that's a good thing? Continue to promote programs that create dependence rather than self- reliance. Competition and the desire to succeed in the marketplace have made America great. But that ethic is being eroded by a culture of "Where's mine?"

    President Obama wants to redistribute income and impose social justice through taxing the wealthy and business concerns. That's what he wants to do. But Mr. Obama cannot possibly believe that a giant welfare state leads to strength. It does not. It leads to weakness.

    Few oppose safety nets for those who through no fault of their own have fallen on hard times. A humane society provides for those people, children, the elderly, the mentally and physically depleted. But we are now way beyond that in America. We have become a society that tolerates slackers, and in some cases, even rewards irresponsible behavior.

    Some far-left individuals despise the U.S.A. believing it's economic and military strength is a force for evil; that we are an exploitative country. Some Americans believe President Obama falls into that category. I do not.

    But I do believe the President is creating a huge federal apparatus that is draining individual incentive and creating an underclass of Americans who are not willing to compete for prosperity. That is not what America should be about.

    And that's "The Memo."

    - You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.