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The Daily Beast

How Joe Biden—in Less Than Two Months—Turned Ronald Reagan’s Decades-Old Conventional Wisdom on Its Head

Bloomberg/Getty“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’” With that famous line, uttered by Ronald Reagan on Aug. 12, 1986, during his second term as president, the GOP mantra for decades to come was born.In fact, this philosophy later even found a home in the Democratic Party. President Bill Clinton in his 1996 State of the Union address declared that, “The era of big government is over,” explaining that, “We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington.” And during an October 2000 presidential debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush, pundits at the time noted that the two seemed to be competing for the title of “the candidate of smaller government.” Gore even bragged that his “reinventing government” campaign as vice president under Clinton had reduced the government to its smallest level in terms of jobs since 1960.Biden’s Revolution Is Doing What Obama and Clinton Did Not Those days are, thankfully, gone—at least for now. Even a good chunk of Republicans recognize that during this pandemic, the federal government offering to help is not “terrifying.” Rather, it can be a life-saver both in terms of health and finances.In fact, moments after President Biden finished his national address Thursday marking one year since the virus was declared a pandemic, Trump-lovers Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee, and others were whining that Biden did not thank Trump for launching “Operation Warp Speed” –the $18 billion federal government program designed to “accelerate the testing, supply, development, and distribution of safe and effective vaccine.” Even these staunch conservatives were implicitly admitting that this federal government program was effective at helping Americans.Another body blow to Reagan’s philosophy that the government is inherently bad can be seen in the remarkable level of support for the massive COVID relief packages. Last March, when the $2.2 trillion CARES Act—the first relief bill—was…

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