Tea Party supporters are very outspoken in their distrust of what they perceive as an overreaching government. I can sympathize; we have to be vigilant in protecting our rights. The idea of limited government also appeals to the American ideal of rugged individualism.
However, many Tea Partiers seem to embrace an extreme view that government should have almost no role in our lives. Unfortunately, this view has no basis in fact, and it ignores some historic achievements. Here are a few of the more obvious examples:
· During the 1930s, government programs like the TVA and REA brought electricity to rural areas where it was not feasible for private companies to provide service.
· When President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, creating the interstate highway system, he committed taxpayer money to build an infrastructure that continues to sustain American businesses.
· And, of course, the human race’s greatest technological achievement—the moon landings—was accomplished by NASA, a huge government bureaucracy, in partnership with numerous private contractors. The taxpayer dollars spent to develop the technology for the space program led to innovations like the integrated circuit that made American companies the global leaders in the computer industry in the following decades.
FDR’s vision of bringing electricity to farming communities while creating jobs faced strong opposition in Congress, just as today President Obama’s green energy initiatives are being opposed. Conservative politicians and Tea Party activists criticize Obama’s stimulus spending, much of which went to maintain or expand our interstate highways. Obama has cut the NASA budget, but he has increased investments in medical science and in green energy, which many experts say will be the text economic boom.
Our government is at its best when it is investing in our future. Don’t take my word for it; here’s what the experts say:
“… the electrification of rural America means more than comfort and convenience. It means profit to farmer, to utility, to appliance manufacturer.” Morris L. Cooke (Head of the REA in the1930s)
“Its[the interstate Highway System’s] impact on the American economy - the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up - was beyond calculation.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Without the NASA funding, the technology landscape would probably be far different than it is now. There would [still] be computers, but they'd be so large and expensive that they would only be used for a handful of specialized applications.” – Dan Olds, Gabriel Consulting Group
“[A] green revolution is imminent that promises to pull the global economy out of today's deepening recession at about 2015, leading to a new wave of sustainable economic growth.” – WE Halal, George Washington Universityhttp://www.jfs.tku.edu.tw/14-1/E03.pdf