Washington Post opinion writer E.J. Dionne wants Democrats and liberals to stop running away from the belief that government can play a strong role in the recovery of our economy. Rather than shrinking from that mantle the GOP places with scorn on Democrats, Dionne argues in a Sunday column to embrace the difference.
Decades of anti-government rhetoric have made liberals wary of claiming their legacy as supporters of the state’s positive role. That’s why they have had so much trouble making the case for President Obama’s stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009. It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing. And such investments — in transportation and clean energy, refurbished schools and the education of the next generation — can prime future growth.
Yet the drumbeat of propaganda against government has made it impossible for the plain truth about the stimulus to break through.
Dionne’s comments come on the heels of an Obama gaffe that has renewed debate between the dueling political parties over government spending and its role in job creation.