Can and should the government continue to fund the social safety net for its citizens?What is the proper role of the government in the provision and funding of education, heath care, housing, job...

Can and should the government continue to fund the social safety net for its citizens?

What is the proper role of the government in the provision and funding of education, heath care, housing, job security, care of the elderly and public safety?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this is largely dependent on one's ideology and political point of view.  There is a line of logic that says that government should not increase its presence in the "social safety net" of its citizens.  These individuals believe that the market place is enough of a self regulator to be able to control how individuals' needs are met.  When government, it is argued, intervenes in this realm, the fabric of this marketplace is altered in a negative way.  Additionally, another line of logic advocated is that government can only enhance difficulty and problems, not solve them.  One need only be reminded of Reagan's brief line:  "Government is not part of the problem; it is the problem."  On the other side of the ledger are those who believe that government intervention is needed to ensure that its citizens are not lost and felt forlorn.  These individuals would point to the current economic crisis as an example of a moment where government assistance in the enhancement of the social safety net is of vital importance.  For this line of thought, the government is the only mechanism that can strive to "promote the general welfare" and within this is the implicit understanding of funding a social safety net for its citizens.