Ronald Reagan said the most destructive thing to the American people that a president could say on his inaugural address---1/20/81.
Reagan: In this present crisis Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.
That statement caused fear and anger in Americans and painted a big fat target on the backs of the government so that he could attack it and so would the American people. Good government is crucial in restoring this country to prosperity and as we have all witnessed, conservatism has indeed unleashed its destructive influence over every part of our society.
Obama's response is right on...
Obama insisted that only government could “break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy,” prevent “the catastrophic failure of financial institutions,” restart the flow of credit and restore the regulations needed to prevent such a crisis in the future.
This is government's role. When Reagan said that government was the problem, he made them the bogeyman instead of the life raft. When we have a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, government should be there to rescue us, but with conservatives in control, people were left stranded to fend for themselves.
As much as I get ticked off with all this bipartisan talk, Obama understands that government can be the agent of hope in this time of crisis and thus will be reversing Reagan's anti-government mantra.