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Talking Points on Government
  • Ronald Reagan was wrong. There are many problems for which government is the solution: national security, crime prevention, flood control, food safety, waste water treatment, water purification, education, scientific research, disaster relief, consumer protection, and many more.
  • Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers for the auto industry bailout and it repaid that money six years ahead of schedule.
  • The economy has created 783,000 jobs so far this year. It’s created 1.2 million jobs since October. Over the last 15 months, the private sector has created more than 2.1 million jobs.
  • Greatly reducing government spending would cost thousands of public-sector workers their jobs. Why do Republicans think this would make the unemployment rate go down?
  • Republicans claim to want to cut federal spending but they voted against Representative George Miller’s bill to eliminate subsidies to the big oil companies that are making huge profits.
  • Instead of focusing on job creation, the top Republican priority is to repeal the health law that protects Americans from insurance company abuses.
  • It would be hypocritical for Republicans to try to deny health care to Americans and also vote against disclosing whether they take the same kind of health care for themselves.
  • Republicans often claim that government is wasteful, but they rarely can propose specific budget cuts except for programs like Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio that they don’t like, not because these are wasteful.
  • Republicans often say that government should be run more like a business, but the objective of business is to operate as cheaply as possible. Do we really want the cheapest air traffic control system?
  • Social Security and Medicare have dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency should get much of the credit for our being able to breathe cleaner air and drink safer water.
  • Modern democratic governments many crucial roles in society including creating more economic security, curing diseases, caring for the environment, dispensing justice, educating our children, and protecting us from a variety of harms.
  • Environmental regulations that impose costs on the companies that must comply with them often also generate large economic gains for companies that make pollution control technologies, like catalytic converters.
  • In 2003, George W. Bush’s Office of Management and Budget issued a report that summarized the cost and benefits from 1992 to 2002 of the most significant 107 regulatory rules implemented by eight main federal agencies. The results showed that the benefits of these regulations are from $147 to $231 billion versus only $37 to $43 billion in costs.
  • Government often helps business as, for example, the Import-Export Bank, which spends about $1 billion a year to help private companies like Boeing and General Electric sell their goods abroad.
  • A study estimated that in 1996, government subsidies and tax breaks to corporations outpaced all the federal money spent on programs for the poor, including welfare, food stamps, housing subsides, and student aid.
  • Businesses cannot grow and prosper without government expenditures on creating and maintaining crucial infrastructure facilities – things like roads, bridges, harbors, navigable rivers, clear water facilities, waste disposal facilities, airports, and so on.
  • Direct government spending on research and development amounts to over $80 billion a year enabling Americans industries to remain on the technological forefront in areas such as medicine, communications, and engineering.

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