On Thanksgiving Day in 1986, President Reagan gave a radio address to the American people on the subject of generosity. He emphasized that big government programs are no replacement for good work done by volunteers and the private sector.

My, how times have changed!

Not that the American people have changed, but our politicians certainly sing a different tune.

Americans are just as generous as ever, and they would much rather choose who to help than support government programs in which they have no say.

We’ve seen example after example showing that people’s needs are not best served by federal rulings and bureaucracies weighed down by politics and paperwork. Decisions for a family, a town, or a state are best made on those levels, not by an outsider with their own agenda.

But our politicians don’t seem to believe that, and our President certainly doesn’t. He’s out to ‘save’ the American people one regulation at a time, whether they like it or not, because he thinks he knows what’s best for our individual lives.

He should take a page from Reagan’s book. Reagan knew that national virtues start on the local level, and generosity is most effective when directed by the people themselves.