Barney Frank on bombing: ‘Be grateful’ for ‘a well-funded, functioning government’
Former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank (D) on Tuesday warned that Monday’s twin bombings in Boston were an example of why lawmakers should proceed with caution when considering cutting taxes and slashing the budget.
In an interview with on CNN, host John Berman posited to Frank that “in some ways, the recovery is based on the response.”
“Let’s be very grateful that we had a well-funded, functioning government,” Frank agreed. “It is very fashionable in America and has been for some time to criticize government, belittle public employees, talk about their pensions, talk about what people think is their excessive health care, here we saw government in two ways perform very well.”
The former congressman pointed out that both local and federal government had worked together in “seamless cooperation.”
“You know, I never was as a member of Congress, one of the cheerleaders for less government, lower taxes,” he explained. “No tax cut would have helped us deal with this — or will help us recover. This is very expensive.”
“We’re not asking people, ‘Do you have have private health insurance or not? Can you afford this or not?’ Maybe the government is going to have to pay for it. And this is an example of why we need — if we want to be a civilized people — to put some of our resources into a common pool so we are able to deal with this. And to deal with it, you can’t simply be responsive once it happens.”
Frank added that that “this is a terrible day for our society, but a day when I hope people will understand the centrality of having a government in place with the resources.”
“At a time like this, no one thinks about saving pennies. But going forward, I hope people aren’t going to think, you spent these tens and tens of millions of dollars — that would probably be a low estimate — let’s just take that out of everything we have going forward. This is an example of why we need to provide the resources for our common good.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s Starting Point, broadcast April 16, 2013.
(h/t: The Huffington Post)