Having lived through the presidencies of FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and now Bush II, the effects of their shenanigans has had little affect on my daily life.
Sure, there have been many different small affects based on taxes and regulations that have changed the way I live my life in the micro level. However, my life in the macro level has not really changed. This is because of the American constitution, the overall form of government that we have, and the acceptance by the great majority of the people for this form of government. Every four years, we change our government peaceably, there is no bloodshed, no rioting in the streets, no massive overhaul of any systems, no martial law, no police state, no government takeover of the banks, it remains basically the same.
As an American citizen, I go to work, pay my taxes, and have a large selection of goods and services at my disposal. I have the freedom to travel whenever or wherever I so choose. Freedom to live wherever I so choose. Freedom to associate with whom I choose. Karen and I have had a comfortable life.
My view is that we are slipping into a socialist state similar to Europe, where there are more and more government regulations, more and more bureaucracy, more taxes being taken to redistribute to others, However, I believe for the remainder of my life that the changes will not be so drastic that I will have to alter my lifestyle, in the macro sense.