Funny thing happened on the way to tax reform. There’s a growing realization that people aren’t afraid of “Big Government” as much as they are afraid of “Big Government” that doesn’t work well. Turns out that many actually like some things that government does. Three disasters make this clear.

Disaster No. 1 was two massive back-to-back hurricanes. Who do we look to for relief? We expect FEMA to be there, and our national, state and local governments to step up with leadership for our safety, sympathy for our losses, and support for our recovery.

Disaster No. 2 is health care. All those people who gained access to health care through Obamacare, welll it turns out they actually liked having health care. Who knew! And when one Republican replacement plan after another came up with nothing but less coverage that was more expensive, down in smoke they went. We may be on the verge of deciding health care ought to be a public trust available for all.

Disaster No. 3 was the financial meltdown of 2008. Facing worldwide financial disaster, who did we look to for salvation? The good old American taxpayer.

The basic truth here is that we in America do and should expect a lot from our government. We like our Armed Services, First responders, educators, and our infrastructure. All examples of “Big Government” folks. And many of them not doing so well anymore due mainly to lack of support.

Our system of democratic capitalism works best when we acknowledge that both the public and private sectors bring something to the table. Tax reform needs to be based upon a consensus of what we want the public sector to do and how we should pay for it, not just another round of more tax cuts for the wealthy.

Roy Estabrook

North Monmouth

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