Posted byat 11th May, 2009
Despite George W. Bush’s blunderings, lies, and power-grabs, he was not – in my opinion – the worst president in recent history. That honor falls to second-rate actor and thirty-fourth-rate president, Ronald Reagan.
Sorry, you sad, whiny Neo-Cons. Your great god and his greedy economic visions are the root of our present financial ails. We used to have a vibrant middle class. We used to manufacture stuff. We used to have fairly reasonable gaps between the sundry societal strata. Now we have stupidly rich people who demand tax cuts, stupidly poor people who sure would appreciate having medical insurance and a roof over their heads, and we have people stupidly in debt with their jobs at constant risk – if they still have jobs as all.
If you’re in debt, Neo-Cons and objectivists say, it’s your own damn fault. Oh really? Reagan and his Randites saw to it that our economy was entirely fueled by debt. If we didn’t incur that debt, the capitalist system in America would have collapsed. The sainted newspaper columnist, the late Mike Royko, said after the 1980 election that Americans didn’t vote their pocketbooks; we voted our credit cards. We should have listened to the man.
But that’s not why the very thought of Ronald Reagan causes me to choke back my bile. No, it was something he said that has become the Republican mantra and has been accepted by the average American. Something untrue, and horribly wrong.
He said: “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
That is complete and total bullshit. We are the government. We hire and fire the folks at the top.
I could fill this site with a list of government programs that work just fine, thank you, particularly under severe financial limitations imposed by our locally elected officials. But I will mention a few.
The Tennessee Valley Authority brought electric power to millions of rural citizens. Two generations later, we established a program that financed the education of doctors in exchange for their commitment to serve several years in remote areas that are bereft of medical attention.
Here’s a shocker: Social Security actually works. It’s not the fault of a program designed more than 70 years ago that we are now living decades longer. We need to update the program, but turning it into the road show to Logan’s Run isn’t the way to do it.
Our interstate highway system is pretty cool: truckers, and if necessary the military, can get pretty much anywhere in the lower 48 fast and without too much hassle. The post office works just fine, given the volume of mail it handles and the fact that we give junk mailers astonishing discounts. Jeez, you can move ten sheets of paper from Maine to California within a few days for less than the cost of a Milky Way candy bar.
And then there’s, oh, say, D-Day. The military is part of the government. Lucky for us, it’s not the other way around.
If the Neo-Cons had their way, we’d privatize everything. Really? Would you trust your financial security to Lehman Brothers? How about the upkeep of our highways to your local cable company?
Should we close down the National Institutes of Health? Sell ‘em off to Big Pharm? We could privatize the military. You know, the way we ran over half of the Iraq occupation. That sure worked out swell.
Government is not the answer to every problem, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. Government of the people, by the people, for the people has provided enormous assistance to many of the problems we hold in common as a people.
We should respect that, and respect the humans who provide those services.
Mike Gold’s Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind rants can be heard every Monday and Friday on The Point podcasts, , available right here at www.michaeldavisworld.com, as well as at comicmix.com, getthepointradio.com, zzcomics.com, and ravenwolfstudios.com. You can subscribe to The Point at iTunes by searching under “The Point Radio.”