NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 4, 2013

Putting trust in government

(Continued)

Now let’s look at the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee of privacy vis-à-vis the National Defense Authorization Act. The world is a far different place than it was two centuries ago. Militant groups wage war on this nation without declaration and hide behind the shield of national sovereignty. Every war America has ever fought precipitated some suspension of constitutional rights. But when the threat ended, so did the suspension. If the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted for national security, so be it. I trust my government to right the listing ship of state when the time comes.

I’m so tired of the bromide about the 47 percenters who think they’re due “collective entitlement.” What does that mean? Where are these people? What about the wealthiest 2 percenters who think they are entitled to avoid fair taxation, to push their moneyed agenda, to break laws with impunity? Where are the criminal indictments against the bankers who caused the economic crisis when the housing bubble burst in 2007? Let me paraphrase Mr. Sayles, replacing his word, success, with mine in italics: Where is the “connection of failure with personal responsibility” on the part of these bankers?

Mr. Sayles bemoans the “role of government as the enabler of prosperity.” Ideally, this role should be played by the captains of industry. Historically, they fail miserably and government intervention succeeds as the missing catalyst for good.

Our national transportation infrastructure is crumbling. Our educational system is in disarray. Given its dismal record of self-regulation, the free market needs the government to save it from itself. Obama enumerated these concerns in his inauguration. I approve his message.

The taming of our national debt is a complex issue that defies treatment in a newspaper column. However, it is not the sole fault of Democrats or Republicans, but of both. The debt has been with us since George Washington took office.

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