20
Dez
2005

When government withers

Christian Science Monitor
by Suzanne Mettler

12/19/05

Our political leaders may aim to spread democracy abroad, but the lessening role of government in the lives of Americans -- as manifested by recent cuts to the federal budget -- does little to nurture the democratic process here at home. Although less severe than the earlier House version, the budget emerging from Congress reduces spending on social and educational programs while extending tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. These budget cuts continue a quarter century of governance guided largely by the idea that, in Ronald Reagan's words, 'Government is not the solution ... government is the problem.' But an assessment of these decades reveals that as government's role in citizens' lives diminishes, so, too, does active civic engagement. In the 1950s through the early 1970s, when government played a visible and positive role in the lives of Americans, large majorities -- according to the National Election Studies -- believed that it was something to trust, and was 'run for the good of all.' By contrast, only 30 to 40 percent of citizens today have the same trust...

//www.csmonitor.com/2005/1220/p09s02-coop.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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