Government is Not a Balance Sheet


Susan Ives, of Susan Ives Communications, responds to the Oct. 3 presidential debate:

Romney’s remark about “trickle down government” is pandering to the same segment of society that hated Franklin Delano Roosevelt and that still maligns the New Deal. Meanwhile that same crowd has legions of lobbyists swarming Washington demanding corporate-rancher-agriculture welfare.

Romney’s plan is to resurrect the “trickle down theory” that conservatives cherish, but that led to the chasm between the rich and everybody else. The millionaires have become multimillionaires; multimillionaires have become billionaires. Meanwhile, America’s working class struggles to get by and the poor fall into serfdom.

To what is Romney referring when he sneers about “trickle down government?” Social security for the elderly?  Medicaid for the indigent?  Grants and loans that put college within reach for millions of young people? Regulations that kept rapacious banks and corporations in relative check for more than 70 years?

In reality, the spirit of civic-minded government that the New Deal represents–and that Romney derides–saw millions of Americans through the last Great Depression and built the foundation for our nation’s general prosperity.

President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” The measure of government is not a balance sheet, Mr. Romney. Government is about moral leadership that seeks to ensure opportunity and quality of life for all citizens.

Susan Ives is Communications Advisor to the Living New Deal.

[Photo Caption: Images like this one filled the Twitter-sphere this week, playing on Gov. Mitt Romney’s comment about cutting funding for public broadcasting during the Oct. 3 presidential debate. Source:]
Rachel Brahinsky is the Living New Deal's managing director and postdoctoral fellow.

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