The U.S. flourished as government grew

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It's government by fairy tale. Kids believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Republicans believe in Small Government. Kids eventually outgrow such stuff, but the Republicans stick to their faith, even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

A Forum piece by Charles E. Moore ("I Plead Guilty," Nov. 3) described the United States as a "nanny state" and complained -- with some justification, no doubt -- of "smaller margins, proliferating regulations, higher taxes and further vilification by the American left."

A recent letter to the editor ("Free-Market Values," Oct. 31) called the Tea Party "a group of people who live by the code of our Constitution and want a smaller government."

What our Constitution actually says is that the mission of the United States is to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." To govern as the Constitution directs, we have had to figure out what the blessings of liberty are and to modify our government accordingly. In the process, we have built a large government.

That large government can regulate our behavior in ways we may not like, but what both the opinion piece and the letter choose to ignore is that our large government has worked to our advantage so far. With it, we became the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. When the political right chipped away at governmental regulatory power, we ended up in a depression that is a cause of suffering for millions of us. But that's reality, and faith trumps reality every time.

Kids outgrow their belief in fairy tales; Republicans don't seem able to. In that case, it is time for us to outgrow our belief in Republicans. We all have to grow up sometime.

PAUL A. ALTER
Wilkinsburg


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