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To the editor:
The charge of big government and socialism has raised fears that we are on a dangerous path.
Is the danger real or is our perspective of history faulty? Certainly, they did not have these issues in early America, but in 1775, the city of Boston faced a financial crisis due to what cause? Answer: Operating their poorhouse.
Who was the president who sent 10,000 troops to enforce an unpopular tax he enacted? George Washington.
What critic of big government, without specific constitutional authority, purchased the Louisiana Territory? Thomas Jefferson.
Big government was given a boost by a president who enacted the first income tax, the draft, gave away millions of acres of public land, established public universities at taxpayer expense and built a transcontinental railroad on public land, paid for by public dollars. May sound like a socialist, but Abraham Lincoln became a beloved president.
Recently, when our country went through a terrible economic crisis, the impact was softened by the swift actions of a courageous president. He enacted a stimulus program, an auto bailout, the Tarp program, expanded eligibility for food stamps and expanded eligibility for tax credits, thus exempting millions of working poor from paying income taxes. Yet, George W. Bush gets little recognition for his role in helping the nation.
From exploration of the New World to putting a man on the moon, big government and its critics have been with us. So far, the doomsayers have been wrong, which ought to give us cause for optimism.
Ocean Isle Beach