Thursday, May 25, 2006 05/25/06-Government as the Problem

In today's excerpt, words from the first inaugural address of Ronald Reagan, delivered on January 20th, 1981. Starting with his speeches for GE, through his governorship of California, and through his presidential campaign, Reagan's statement of philosophy had increasingly been "get the government out of the bedroom and out of the boardroom." His philosophy was succinctly captured in his first inaugural speech:

"The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as American have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time, we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden."

Michael Waldman, My Fellow Americans, Sourcebooks, 2003, pp. 247-8


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