To the editor:
For Cal Thomas, the individual American is suffering, since the election of President Obama, a loss of liberty at the hands of a “larger, more intrusive and costlier government.” He sees the antidote in the sayings of Ronald Reagan, including, “concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”
The individual Americans I know have something else on their minds. They see their livelihoods lost or threatened by government-supported business policies that reduce their employment benefits, deny them the freedom to form unions, export their jobs, and risk the long-term health of enterprise for the next quarter’s profit. Contrary to what Mr. Thomas says, most individuals are not “more dependent on government.” They are more dependent on the corporate bosses whose concentrated power President Reagan unleashed.
Mr. Reagan shifted the tax burden from the rich to the middle class, deregulated health and safety protections for workers, shredded the safety net for the poor and advanced environmental degradation for everyone. In doing so, he contributed to a disparity in wealth not seen since the gilded age.
Mr. Thomas would do well to look beyond President Reagan’s words to his actions and their consequences. If Mr. Obama can clean up the mess initiated by Reagan policies, he will earn the lasting gratitude of ordinary Americans.