Friday on PBS’s “NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks described overtures from Democratic politicians to expand the role of government, particularly when it comes to health care and the remaking of the American economy in the name of environmentalism “craziness.”
Brooks said he was a proponent government doing more for some that needed to help to a certain extent, but argued beyond that it could have the effect of turning off a lot of Americans.
“I think it’s craziness, what they’re doing,” Brooks said. “I would make a distinction between government that provides a safety net for people who — when bad things happen to them that they can’t do anything about, who are born in less fortunate circumstances. So, if you want government to hand checks to seniors through Social Security, sign me up. If you want earned income tax credits to raise the wages of lower-earning workers, sign me up. If you want wage subsidies, I’m for all that stuff. But I think you will find a lot of Americans don’t like the idea of government taking over large sectors of American industry and very complicated sectors of our society.”
“I think when Bernie Sanders says Medicare for all, we’re going to take away your private health insurance. I think you’re going to find a lot of people like their private health insurance,” he continued. “When the Green New Deal, which five of these people, these candidates have signed up for, says, we’re going to take over the energy sector, and we’re going to make sure you — we won’t even need planes anymore, because we will all be traveling by rail, there are a lot of people who are going to be suspicious that government is competent to do that. So there are two ways that government can be active. It needs to be a lot more active in supporting, in mending inequality and redistributing money for the middle-class and working poor. In my view, and I think in a lot of Americans’ view, it doesn’t need to be active in taking over a lot of private sector activity and thinking it can be run out of Washington.”
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