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Rational discussion

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

We all want to live in a free, prosperous, just and safe country. But we all do not agree on the best way to achieve, preserve or accomplish this.

One theory generally involves less government and more individual responsibility, believing that competition breeds excellence, and strong families produce charitable and self-reliant individuals.

The second theory generally involves more government and less individual responsibility, believing that government does a better job taking charge of commerce and caring for the needy.

Our country is founded on the first theory and has been steadily incorporating the second. All Americans have accepted most government expansions. But some question the diminishing returns. At some point, more is less. This is the crux of the debate. How much more government can we afford, do we want, and will actually help?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt shifted our country dramatically in this direction. His temporary “safety nets” have grown, become permanent, and spawned many more such programs. Now, the federal government is beyond comprehension in size and scope. We’ve accepted most of this. But how much further should we go? 

Our European friends are ahead of us on this path. France, Spain and Greece have taken this approach with terribly troubling results. Just take a look. History also teaches us the treachery and tyranny of centrally controlled economies. They don’t work.

We have thrived, invented, explored, and benefited in myriad ways from our free market, regulated by a limited government. Can’t we look at our incredible American story and agree on that?

Michelle Clesceri


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