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Is government really incompetent? Are debt and deficits really problems?

As a new Biden administration prepares to take office, anti-government Republicans are renewing their efforts to convince Americans that government is irretrievably incompetent and corrupt. Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address in 1981 that “government is the problem.” Republicans have built on this statement to convince Americans that government is more of a problem, more corrupt and more incompetent than corporations led by overpaid CEO’s whose stock goes up when they fire people, who devastated manufacturers like General Electric, and who have championed the lemming-like rush to China.

Republicans also want Americans to believe that government cannot afford programs to give middle-and working-class people more income and health care security. Instead, the GOP contends that the “individualism” that characterized the U.S. when 80 percent of Americans worked on farms, and the generosity of “work givers” will take care of working people.

The GOP narrative further asserts that government debt is more dangerous than th