We’ve faced an existential crisis before. The 2008 subprime market crash left us one step from global financial collapse. Free-marketers said, “Let it fail; bring down moral hazard on the perpetrators!” Insert you’re favorite Armageddon scenario here.

Nobody in their right mind wanted to go there. A rescue was needed, but who’ya gonna call? Big Business, the 1%, Ghostbusters?

It fell to our last line of defense against ruin, that ultimate safety net: the American taxpayer, a.k.a. Big Government.

Wall Street was bailed out while many lower on the scale weren’t, a failure by both political parties. In knee-jerk frustration, we the people put a “businessman” in charge thinking, what do we got to lose? Turns out plenty. We now have leadership by a gut-reaction reality TV host, anti-government Republicans, and alt-right conspiracy theory media blowhards.

Enter COVID-19, one of the most serious crises the world has faced in centuries. After all the conservative railing against government overreach and nanny-state welfare, we couldn’t pass bailout packages fast enough.

I’m not complaining, but I am sick and tired of right-wing anti-government rhetoric. If the bungling of this administration shows us anything it’s that we need government by intelligent, well-informed people, not Trump-style cronies and yes-men.

Donald Trump can toot his own horn and slap his name on Treasury checks all day, but don’t kid yourselves folks; that support check’s coming from your good, old Uncle Sam.

Conservatives who scream government overreach, send back your stimulus money, get off the public highways and out of public parks, and don’t call the police or other first responders next time calamity hits.

Or, face the fact we need the public sector and we need it to work well not just for special interests but for all of us.

 

Roy Estabrook

North Monmouth


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