Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nostalgic Republicans Need New Slogans

Will certain local and national righty talk show hosts, and other practitioners of a certain galling ahistoricality, retire their outdated overuse of a certain hackneyed Ronald Reagan line about Guvmint being the problem and not the solution?

The exact quote from his first inaugural address was, "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

And it's been repeated ad infinitum/ad nauseum as a throwaway line, an ignorant, anti-government bumpersticker by Republicans ever since, particularly those tilting towards selfish, Libertarian Do-Nothingism.

So I ask you government-haters: whom do you think is trying to save your IRA's, home equity and jobs - - through loans, lending guarantees, inter-governmental coordination worldwide and now direct stock ownership in failing firms?

Saving your/our you-know-what?

From AIG to General Motors to major banks, it is the federal government stepping in, back-stopping, bailing-out, propping-up and otherwise saving the day.

The result will be money for home buyers, businesses, pensions and the other components of a modern economy.

Admittedly imperfect, but in trouble, and in need of repair.

The government is all of us, acting on our collective behalf. It is not some outside force that served Reagan as rhetorical pinata, but now, for good reasons, will mean something far different and more valuable.

Many Republican legislators voted for the rescue plan and will do it again if they have to because most of them understand that without strong and intentional federal government action in the market place, on Wall Street and on Main Street, there will more long-term damage.

So let go of the rhetoric and get used to realistic American governing that involves more public financing on and through a new social and fiscal balance sheet.

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