By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Of all the points raised by different analysts about the economy last week, surely the best was Representative Barney Frank’s reminder on “Charlie Rose” that Ronald Reagan’s favorite laugh line was telling audiences that: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’ ”
Hah, hah, hah.
Are you still laughing? If it weren’t for the government bailing out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and A.I.G., and rescuing people from Hurricane Ike and pumping tons of liquidity into the banking system, our economy would be a shambles. How would you like to hear the line today: “I’m from the government, and I can’t do a darn thing for you.”
In this age of globalization, government matters more than ever. Smart, fiscally strong governments are the ones best able to empower their people to compete and win. I was just in Michigan to give a talk on energy. I can’t tell you how many business cards I collected from innovators who had either started renewable-energy companies or were working for big firms, like the Dow Chemical Company, on clean energy solutions. Read the rest.
While you're at it, you may as well read Maureen Dowd's column -- it's pretty funny.