dionne explains it all
E. J. Dionne raises an excellent point in today's Washington Post: conservative cranks who like to blast Uncle Sam's "rapaciousness" around tax time fail to give government the credit it's due. If you think government can't do anything good, look at the anarchy that siezed Iraq in the wake of the Ba'ath Party's collapse.
What these groups never talk about, because it would wreck their story line, is the extent to which our personal and collective prosperity as a property-owning, enterprising people depends on strong and effective government. No government, no property. No government, no security from looting, theft or violence. No government, no national defense. No government, no social stability. No government, no securities law. No government, no food inspections, no consumer and environmental protection, no safeguards for workplace rights, no social insurance.
(I'll demur that, of that list, conservatives seem to have no problem with spending more on the military than every other nation on Earth combines.)
Everyone remebers Jefferson's famous citation of the inalienable rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It's often overlooked that the very next sentence describing another "self-evident truth" is "That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." No government, no rights.
(continued in the next post)