More than 30 years ago, former President Ronald Reagan said government wasn’t the solution, but rather the problem. A long time has passed since and much has changed.
Two more decades of Republican administrations have been shrinking it, but the anti-government clamor doesn’t stop, as became apparent at the Republican National Convention.
This complaint shows much of the American individualistic character, in addition to ignorance and hypocrisy.
For example, it’s ridiculous to ask for the government not to intervene between Medicare and its beneficiaries-like vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has called for-when this is a government program, and a successful one.
In other cases, many regulatory laws are being denounced as interventionist, but these same complaints evaporate when the government acts in favor of the one complaining. According to this point of view, the government is interventionist when it protects consumers but isn’t when its regulations protect an industry or a special interest.
On the other hand, the federal government becomes smaller every time a tax cut is approved, because the cut deprives it of revenue and creates a deficit that must be addressed with expense cuts. Tax cuts are an efficient vehicle that has led to weakening the social services network.
The government may today be perceived as the stereotype as a wasteful bureaucracy. But history shows it has defended the basic rights of the most vulnerable people.
The nostalgia of returning to the principles of the Founding Fathers disregards the fact that for centuries, governments, as the representatives of the people, contributed to the greatness of the nation.
The government is not the enemy. In some way, we’re all part of it, whether as voters, taxpayers, citizens or beneficiaries. It’s different from a company. Being efficient doesn’t mean turning away from the role it has played, like establishing regulations against child labor and a minimum wage.
We think the goal is for the government to work well for the well-being of all Americans. Perhaps the biggest problem is that, in the past 30 years, the government has had too many presidents who instead of improving it have dedicated themselves to destroying it from within.