Obama is ordering us to tithe in the context of taxes for transfer payments, just like popes of old. The state as the center of life, like the Church once was, is the apparent basis for this order.
Obama intends his reference to “We, the People,” to establish a nonexistent link between his policies and the wisdom of the Founding generation, which opposed the view of government that Obama champions. The issue is not whether we have responsibilities as well as rights. Of course we do, and one portion of those responsibilities is to contribute a fair share in taxation to support the common infrastructure.
But a second is to make sure that we do not take the system of taxation so far that it becomes the vehicle for giant transfer payments that destabilize and undermine the creation of wealth. The defense of freedom by believers in laissez-faire has never been to ask “what’s in it for me”—which can be easily asked by any of the numerous interest groups that lobby for federal handouts under the current rules of the game.