President Obama is being unfairly hectored by Mitt Romney and by much of the media for rejecting the idea that government is evil.
The president defended the role of government, stating, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
While the thought isn’t as well articulated as it could have been, isn’t it true? Without the government building infrastructure — the roads, bridges and tunnels — without the government providing security, namely police and army, to keep us safe, without the government providing other basic services such as public education, hospitals, etc., could anything of consequence for a great society be accomplished?
Aren’t we proud of the fact that each generation builds on the successes of the prior generation?
The president was not diminishing the individual successes of citizens. He was pointing out what we all know to be true — that even the most successful and brilliant among us have had help along the way.
The help of other individuals including teachers who taught and inspired them, friends who helped and comforted them, cops and firefighters who protected them. Government, if it does its job, provides that which an individual cannot provide alone in building our civilization and society.
Our election process is disintegrating with these petty attacks being engaged in by both Democrats and Republicans and they should stop. This election should be fought on the basis of what each candidate offers on the important issues confronting us, e.g., jobs, the solvency of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, improving education, providing medical care for all of our citizens, reducing the nation’s deficit, providing for an annual federal balanced budget, dealing with foreign affairs, preventing wars and acts of terrorism, and a host of other key issues.
Both candidates have to address these issues and tell us how they would handle them if they were to win.
Edward Koch was the 105th mayor of New York City for three terms, from 1978 to 1989. He previously served for nine years as a congressman. Read more reports from Ed Koch — Click Here Now.
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