Lee Hamilton’s opinion piece, “Remember what government can do” posted July 20 in the Journal Review shows exactly why government has low trust, not as he intended to explain how government “can do.”
Government distrust is directly because of the opposite of what Mr. Hamilton tried to state. For Mr. Hamilton, government, or more government, is the only answer to every problem we face as a country. Our country was founded by a group that framed the constitution regarding the “government” as a necessary but problematic thing.
Hamilton states that, “People often question the value of government in their lives, even while depending on a monthly Social Security check, or driving on an interstate, or attending college thanks to a student loan.” This is where Mr. Hamilton goes far astray.
Social security: Mr. Hamilton considers it government funded? It is not. A citizen pays into Social Security along with their employer based on wages earned. Unfortunately, it has been our congressional representatives that have essentially robbed money from Social Security to pay for other things. That is the problem with its solvency.
Hamilton mentions the interstate. While some funding comes from congressional appropriations, a large majority of federal transportation funding is direct taxes in way of the gasoline tax which is supposed to go to funding roads and bridges.
Student loans: Student loans are a loan from a private entity to be paid back with interest by the borrower only guaranteed by the government. This only becomes government funded if defaulted or “forgiveness” is allowed.
Which is a bait and switch argument. The loan isn’t forgiven at all, only switched from the borrower to those that did not borrow nor receive benefit of the loan. The “forgiveness” would be a classic “government program” touted by Hamilton.
Mr. Hamilton states, “So yes, while government has its failings, it’s also crucial to understand that it can be made to work effectively and fairly — and that we cannot address many of the challenges we face as a nation without a government that has the public’s confidence.”
We are in a time of very low trust of government. I question how it will ever return to being effective or fair, but mostly disagree with his premise that within every problem we have the answer lies within the government. It does not.
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Government doesn't have all the answers?? No news here, but here's a newsflash: neither does the private sector. Unbridled wealth (in the top 2 percent) and the "free" market abuse people like no government program.
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