As rumors swirl of a possible Obama/Boehner deal, it’s worth remembering that any agreement is but one skirmish in a long cultural war. Budget agreements made this year are renegotiated the next, and we have to settle in for a sustained conflict. At stake is nothing less than the relationship between citizen and state and the future of the American experiment. As the government has careened toward the model of a giant “pension plan with an army,” it’s not just Washington that’s broken. Entitlement programs have bred an entitlement mentality in our citizens, the creation of dependent classes of Americans who primarily view the government as providing benefits rather than protecting liberty and preserving economic opportunity. Forty years of Great Society entitlements have had a negligible effect on poverty but a maximum impact on our budget.