The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 4, 2012

Big government?


Daily Item

---- — I've heard a lot of talking points about 'Big Government'. Here's some of what "Big Government" means.

It means that when your kids watch Sesame Street, they aren't inundated with commercials for toys, cereal, and snack foods.

It means that when credit card companies rip you off, there's the Consumer Financial Protection Board to penalize them and make them refund the money, as recently happened to American Express, to the tune of $250 million.

It means that there's someone to investigate and take action when adulterated drugs hit your pharmacy. It means research and development on infectious diseases.

It means soldiers and seamen and airmen.

It means roads and bridges, Pell grants, insurance on your savings accounts.

It means Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. It means cops and teachers and firemen. Now, government isn't perfect. After all, it's run by people. There will always be fraud, waste, and mismanagement, but isn't that also true of the private sector? Consider that Medicare runs with an overhead of 2 percent. Private health insurers operate with an overhead of 20%, and it would be more if Obamacare didn't force them to refund to policy holders anything over 20 percent. When I hear that familiar talking point about the government getting between me and my doctor, I'd rather have the government there than a profit-making company who might deny my claim to make a buck.

We were just hit by a storm that devastated much of the northeast. FEMA was in place and delivering aid and supplies even before the storm ended, and from all reports doing a fine job. That's what government can do when administered by a professional, rather than by the President's college roommate.

We have many industries, such as banking, insurance, energy, media, and communications, that are controlled by a few very large companies. We need a big government to regulate them. It doesn't always work, but do you think we'd be better off without it?

Robert Fischetti,

Freeburg