Obama Extols the Many Ways ‘Large and Small’ Americans Depend on the Government

‘Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building’

OBAMA: "In fact, one of the things I hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is it turns out smart, effective government is important. It matters. I think the American people during the shutdown had a chance to get it -- some idea of all of the things, large and small, that government does that makes a difference in people's lives. We hear all of the time about how government is the problem. It turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways.

"Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement. It plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, and making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created. Arming our businesses with the best science and technology so that they can compete with companies from countries. It plays a key role in keeping our food, toys, and workplaces safe. It helps folks rebuild after a storm. It conserves our natural resources. It finances start-ups. It helps to sell our products overseas. It provides security to our diplomats abroad.

"So let's work together to make government work better instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it look worse. That's not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self government. You don't like a particular policy? Or a particular president? Then argue for your position, go out there and win an election. Push to change it, but don't break it. Don't break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building."

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