Reagan in the gulf
I was all set to scribble something akin to this, but this one does it better and saves me the typing:
Here’s the grim reality: the oil spill is merely a symptom of a much deeper problem, one that is our fault, because for the last 30 years we’ve been trusting the scorpion.
The fact is, Reagan had it backwards. Government, it turns out, is often the solution and unconstrained private industry the problem. Many of us knew this, but few have had the courage to stand up to Reagan’s dangerous, but popular, fantasy, then or now.
There may have been a few conservative ideologues who actually believed the small government, magic market mantras spouted by the likes of Reagan, Grover Norquist (I simply want to reduce [government] to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub) William Kristol and assorted industry-funded think tanks, but they were few and far between.
The real reason this philosophy spread was because it was politically expedient, it was backed and funded by powerful interests who made campaign contributions, and few had the courage or conviction required to confront a fantasy that told people they didn’t have to pay for the services they demanded.
The evidence mounts every day. The BP oil spill, yes. But also The Big Branch coal mining disaster; the sub-prime disaster; the AIG and various other Wall Street disasters; the growing income disparity between the rich and the rest of us; a global thermostat set on self-destruct; a globalized economy as volatile as a vial of nitro-glycerin – everywhere you look, you see more proof that the conservative mantra of small government and uber-free markets has completely failed.
Completely. And yet, there they parade on cable news, the internet and in town halls across the country, yelping that greed is good and big government the problem. All lying- and knowingly so- because it makes them money.
Pop quiz…who was the last president to reduce the size of the federal government?
Slick Willy. And you saw what they did to him.